Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Wouldn't have been right for the final 50 miles to go smoothy.

Off from an empty Bedford at 8.30am, roads very snowy and the air freezing with misty patches. Actually found that the safest way to make progress was to cycle on the other side of the road so that any traffic would be coming towards me, giving me a chance to get off the road. Very snowy roads for 10 miles or so then . . . .

The first puncture! Great!

Eventually got that one fixed. Cycled on. Northampton - puncture number 2, or so I thought. Same tyre flat but coudn't find a hole once the inner tube was out. Onward.

4 miles before Daventry, tyre flat again. Out with a kinked inner tube and inflation. Thinking that this would be a regular requirement for the rest of the way, set off expecting another deflation. By now the journey had taken 5 hours. Guess what? No more problems, well not from the tyre anyway. Only problem now was the slushy, frozen snow on the roads but at least traffic was sparse.

Never so happy to see a county sign but the blue bear of Warwickshire came up as did a huge cheer and a few tears. Home.

Actually had another ten miles to go and the impacted snow on the road bewtween Leamington and Warwick almost had me falling off. Incredible how my balance has improved over the year. Can I call myself a cyclist now?

Time for reflection. Time for thanks and time for recuperation but not just yet. Iceland gull and Long-eared owl to find.

Back now clean, fed and sitting listening to Pink Floyd's Money live from the Pulse tour on Youtube. With my wonderful parents again. Done it!

Love to everyone,



  1. Well done, Congrats on 250 birds and getting back in one piece! :)

  2. Well done Gary, now what to do in 2011 :-)

  3. Well done Gary. Fantastic. Good luck with that record.

  4. Well done Gary, what a fantastic year, and a brilliant, interesting and informative blog to follow. Will you be writing a book about it? OR how about doing it in reverse direction?!! Maybe you can stay with me this time as well!

    Enjoy Christmas and have a well earned rest mate.

  5. Fantastic Gary!!!

    Top man, Well done, quite an achievement.

    Good luck with the Icy and LEO...

    have a great xmas and put your feet up.

    Tim, Holly, Eleanor and Ben

    Albert sends his best!

  6. Good on you Gary. Well done mate!

  7. Congratulations on your extremely arduous journey Gary, and all the very best of luck in getting the other two birds, The Iceland Gull is still in Lowestoft by the way, Shall I bring it over for you?.... Only kidding ;)
    Have a bloody good rest over Christmas, then on yer bike for the other two birds!!


  8. Thank you to all of you. Jon - you're on! Get it and bring it over. Kicking myself that i didn't turn around to get it . No excuses.