Picture the scene, peace and quiet, country side views, rolling hills for miles and miles, the sound of flowing water reverberating around you. Travelling for 10 miles and only seeing 10 people. Sounds perfect, now imagine the freezing cold, blustery winds going in to your face all whilst your are sat in a fiberglass floating vessel, moving at around 2mph, still sounding idyllic?
If your answer is yes how about if I told you that the rolling hills that go on for miles and miles, well you can’t see them, and why can’t you see them because of hedges. The darn things are like natures body guards getting all up in your face giving you stick, “nah mate you ain’t coming in its for VIPs only” leaving a tiny gap for you to see all the wonders behind.
This is nothing new for these darn hedges also blocked every good possible view at the top of every thigh burning hill down south when we were cycling John o groats to Lands End. I just might consider starting one of them online petitions along with a campaign to remove the word hedge, Benson and Hedges not any more.
Sorry I digress, I thought I would just give you some idea of how a few hours in a pedalo feels, when me and Russ went out on the Blue thunder Sunday just gone.
I want to paint a picture of an adrenaline fueled rush you can only get from pedaling non stop and getting absolutely no where, but your legs and back they feel like they have walked to the ends of the earth. We started off in Market Harborough we tried to see if we could make it to Foxton Locks in Leicestershire a mear 8 miles away. Settling down in our comfiest of vehichles we set on our way. the first 0.4 miles were pretty nice with some ok houses with gardens that lead right on to the canal side, these houses were the size of mansions, wouldn’t fancy mowing the lawn though to be fair, but equally impressive non the less.
After that there was not really much of note, a stretch which makes you angry as a human as people can disregard nature and its sad to see. Hoovers sign posts and any old junk just thrown in a shame a real shame.
However there are some wonderful people, the smiles on everybody who walked either passed us or with us as they saw our pedalo it a great feeling. And we have met some truly lovely people who have taken a genuine interest in all that we are aiming to achieve, all think we are mad but share much kindness with us and I would like to say thank you to everyone.
3 hours and one 15 minute break later we reached bridge number 5, just under 5 miles had been done, it was at this point we had to turn round to get home before we had no dark. Just let that sink in 3 hours to go 5 miles, its scandalous really. So for that 5 miles the wind and river flow was against us and so we were looking forward to turning round for an easier ride.
Yep you guessed it no sooner did we turn round then the wind did too, there is nothing easy about this challenge let me tell you that. By the end of it all a massive 6 hours and 9.8 miles later our bodies were falling apart and I am pretty sure we were losing the plot, praise be for sea shanties I can see why they are a favourite amongst sailors, and some mildly amusing discussions about 90s TV to keep us going.
I wish I could have made it sound much more interesting but on this stretch there was not much of note. Hedges did I say about hedges? genuinely though from someone who has cycled 1200 miles in 2 weeks I can safely say this is right up there as one of the most incredible challenges to do, and on this journey we didn’t even have to go through a lock.
Right thats all from me for now, I hope you all enjoyed it