Sunday, 8 June 2003

Land's End to John O'Groats - Post-Ride Thoughts

Having just typed up my notes from 2003, I'm struck by how clear some of the memories are. I don't look that much older to my eyes 6 years on, as long as I squint...

I'm also reminded how little preparation I'd done for the ride (and yet I seemed to do OK) and by how kind it was of Clare to drive out to meet me during the route - it must have been really boring for her a lot of the time.

It was also incredibly lucky to have only 20 minutes of rain in two weeks - particularly fortunate considering I had no back mudguard on the bike. Since then I've received at least one total soaking on every longer tour - bad luck, or climate change, I'm not sure...

And it's also sad to see pictures of my lovely Cannondale Badboy Ultra. I loved that bike! It was completely impractical for this, or probably any other, cycling duties, but it did look great in black! Depressingly it was stolen from outside Sainsbury's in Islington in 2004 on my way home from work. I suppose it was my own fault, I locked it with the same crummy cable lock you can see in the pictures, although it was all of 10 feet from the entrance, with a security guard stood outside.

It turned out that Islington police, and I assume Sainsbury's themselves, were well aware of an organised gang of bicycle thieves who targetted bikes left outside the shop. Apparently they use proper bolt cutters, apparently stolen from the local Fire Brigade. Sainsbury's don't even have a security camera and yet these people are stealing from their customers. Surely they should do something about it - and the police could help their crime figures by pouncing on them. The worst thing is my bike was probably given a terrible paint job and sold for a song...

I felt absolutely gutted as I walked the 2 miles back to Stoke Newington, the pasta and pesto I'd just bought weighing particularly heavily in my bag.

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