75 miles, 5,900ft climbing.
Day two done. And what a day! It had it all.
After being dropped off where we ended day one by our support team and bidding a sad farewell to Lorraine (who will rejoin the crew in Scotland next week) it was straight up one of Cornwall’s steep inclines to Bodmin Moor. Despite the horror movie-esque mist surrounding us it was quite an experience. On wonderfully smooth cycle paths with all sorts of farm animals roaming around us – not to mention the stunning scenery – it was almost enough to distract us from the undulating terrain. What was enough to distract us, however, was stumbling across another end-to-end-er. Peter was three days into his third LEJOG, and started this attempt on Saturday which also happened to be his 85th birthday. Laden with panniers and taking three and a half weeks to complete the journey, stopping at his friends’ homes en route, we are unlikely to cross paths again but thoroughly enjoyed swapping stories and plans with someone on a similar adventure.
Beyond Bodmin we emerged into Devon – something it took a while to realise as it seems to largely replicate the peaks and troughs of its predecessor. For anyone doubting the mountainous status of Cornwall and Devon, today we had confirmation. As anyone who’s been on a skiing holiday with Sal or anyone Sal is related will know, The Weather Is Very Changeable In The Mountains. Today in Cornwall and Devon the weather could not have changed more frequently. From starting the day in the mist we went on to have wind, rain and sunshine on a roughly five minute rotational basis for the rest of the day. By the end of it we and our bikes were caked in mud and all very much in need of a wash.
Joking aside, today we both climbed more than we ever have before – roughly 1000ft more than the 100 mile rides we have completed – and over just 75 miles (on top of 73 miles yesterday). It was tough, and it was slow, but it was brilliant. The perks of such ascents are the views at the tops and there can be no doubt that Devon delivered. When the mist subsided we were rewarded with endless views of stunning English countryside, which was at times breathtaking (when we had any breath left from the climbing!)
Other than hills and inclement weather, we should also mention (1) today’s overzealous guard dog – a sprightly Jack Russell whose attempts at diverting us both as we rode past his farm resulted in teeth marks through Sal’s shoe covers, (2) just one Really, Roy? moment that saw us traipse through some mud and (3) a slightly more embarrassing Really, Sal? moment that resulted in us walking our bikes down a vertical cliff face of a hill only to spend 30 minutes ascending the other side (this time on bikes, we hasten to add, and with a very grumpy Abbie).
After the ups and downs of the day we were greeted back at our hotel for the night by our cheering supporters (thanks Lee and Jo) with Devonshire cream teas at the ready, and we can’t thank them enough.
Tomorrow we are joined by Team Ignition (Mike, Ben and Lizzy) and possibly also some cake and tunes to celebrate a LEJOG birthday. It’s also apparently going to be pretty much flat. And we can’t. Bloody. Wait.
Lots of love
Abs and Sal xxx