Pedal Power by Nick Veasey
  • Annette Culshaw

The Tooth Fairy

Updated: Jan 6


September 10th 2018

'Cheers' to all our friends

I forgot to tell you about my night time adventures yesterday.


My Garmin GPS and Bike must have been borrowed overnight.


When we were about to set off yesterday morning I switched on Garmin and discovered that it had registered an overnight ride of 26,500 miles which apparently took me 30.02hrs to complete.


Our ride data goes straight from the device to a site called Strava. It is site for cyclists to record all the details of their rides. It can be quite competitive.. who has ridden the furthest, steepest, fastest etc.


My immediate thought that if this mythological ride was to register on the site, either I would be applauded for my valiant efforts (I would have been at the top of every single leader board) or slung out altogether, the latter being the more likely. We couldn’t delete this ride, nor could we switch the dam thing off.


Clearly, I had not done this mammoth ride so the only conclusion we could come to was that the Tooth Fairy had borrowed our bikes overnight to speed up her night time tasks.


I disconnected my phone from Bluetooth so the ride would not make its way up to Strava.


No time to fiddle with it so we set off with only Bob’s GPS working (and therefore Bob doing the navigation !!!) to guide us along our route for the day. A worrying scenario as we could easily get separated en route. With two of us following a route we are less likely to take a wrong turning. It also means that only one of us can record a ride. If at some time in the future we need to prove we have covered all the miles from start to finish then the GPS holds all that data and with only Bob’s GPS working I would have been stuffed! I fretted about this all day!


This morning, on our chilling out day, Bob managed to reset it all - thank goodness and Hail Robert!


River Exe -The view from our terrace


A second technical issue has been that since leaving home I have not been able to send or receive Emails on my primary account. I have spent hours trying to work out why and to resolve the problem. I eventually discovered that apparently my Gmail Drive was full!!! I did not know that this was even possible. I had to part with a yearly sub of £13.95 to Google in order for them to increase my Gb allowance. It was particularly annoying as the 15Gb limit contained only 2Gb of my emails. The rest were Google based facilities over which we have no choice but to have on our phones.


You can imagine my delight when the first Emails started coming in this morning, - even if the first was from our local MP wanting support and the second was prompting me to make an appointment for a flu jab.


So, today… no cycling. We missed it.


We reverted to traditional male/female tasks… I washed our somewhat smelly clothes in the bath, wrapped them in towels to squeeze out the water and hung them up to dry. We cannot do this at night as with no central heating on yet in any of the overnight stops they would still be wet in the morning. Bob undertook some basic bike maintenance … cleaning the chains, checking the spokes and checking over the nuts and bolts so to speak.


We decided to take a trip into Tiverton, just because we could! Nothing much to write about there other than the bus journey was surreal. We were riding on a bus on a busy road which had a 40mph limit. Bob and I were clinging onto the seat rails for dear life, convinced the driver was doing way more than 70mph. The 40mph speed seemed extraordinary after 5 days on our bikes.



Terrace Gardens at Fishermans Cot

So, we are now sitting on the terrace here having a G&T. (Superb) reflecting on the highlights and lows of our trip so far.


Highlights:


* The messages of love and support from our families and friends. These have meant the world to us.

* Zumba

* Having almost completed the Cornwall & Devon stretches and survived the killer hills.

* Riding over Bodmin Moor - totally stunning.

* Yesterdays ride through the peaks and troughs of the Devon countryside.

The kindness of so many people.. staff at the hotels and the en-route donations from other people we have met.

* The way our fabulous bikes have coped with all that has been thrown at them.


Troughs:


* The ghastly bridlepaths of Day 2... In fact all of day 2!

* The hills that we had to push our bikes up - they all seemed to be at least 10 miles long!!

* The filthy hotel that we had pre booked and paid for but which was too awful to contemplate.


What do we most miss?….


* A support vehicle!!! Just to have the support of a car where we could load up our ridiculously heavy panniers would be a joy and would make the whole trip so very much easier. We have to hold back that green eyed monster when we meet people cycling this route without a care in the world. If they go wrong, have a breakdown or any other problem, someone is there to see them though. Thank goodness that Shirley and John are going to be there for us in mid -Scotland.


* Easy access to wifi and the internet. Cornwall is notorious for poor internet connectivity but even here in Devon it is poor. We did not realise how dependent we are on it in order to keep in contact with everyone, to search out routes, to discover exactly where we are at any point.


* Our families and friends. We can and do keep in touch when we have internet and/or a phone signal, but we miss the physical contact. My granddaughter, Alana, started school today and I would have loved to give her a hug.


So, a killer hill to start the day tomorrow and then, hopefully, some flat lands.


Annette & Bob

xx




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