. Just as we were feeling pretty desperate a very polite young man came and said that there was a bike shop 50m down the road. It’ quite scary giving the bike over to someone who speaks no English when you have no idea whether they know what they’re doing or not. I thought this guy might have some idea as his workshop and tools were all immaculately organised and filed just like Dan Gick has his! He took the wheel off and put lots of grease and some small silver balls in it watched by Mikey, me and the usual 15 random people who turned up. After an hour of adjusting, and lots of advice from spectators he said it was fixed, and so far he seems to have been right! Phew. Annoying though after we had spent the whole of the day off trying to avoid spending time in more bike shops! I counted and we have been to 13 so far – not good. It is quite the business to be in though with such bad roads, every village seems to have its bike doctor, very fortunate for us. We set off, and quickly saw a sign to our end destination saying it was still 34 miles away. Really getting annoyed with the Rough Guide map and Google Maps not having the correct distances. The rest of the day was spent cycling and cycling endlessly. We stopped at a gorgeous beach ‘Muzhappilangam’ hoping there would be accommodation there so we wouldn’t have to do the full 60 miles to Kannur, but no luck. The road deteriorated through the busy towns we came through, and driving if possible seemed worse. Potholes quickly buckled my tyre again by the time we finally reached Mascot Beach Resort, Kannur at 6.30 just as it got dark ( we tried other places first) I was totally demoralised by the heat, 62 miles, hills and being so itchy from bites and heat rash
. Mikey held it together, looking after me and sorting out a nice room for us until he found out from room service that the hotel didn’t have beer! At this point he lost it too and we had to give ourselves a talking to about why we’re doing this trip and how lucky we truly are. Soup, sandwiches, chips and in an aircon room also somewhat mollified us. However, an automated text at 9pm saying that Midhurst Rother College was closed and staff should stay at home made us really homesick, remembering the absolute joy this time last year when we both had 3 days off school from snow!! Nothing better than waking up at 6am to find out you don’t have to go to work and can stay in bed. Hope you’re all enjoying the winter wonderland and sledging up Kingly Vale.
The day started badly with our scrambled eggs being a funny grey colour unlike the previous day, and then both us having bad stomachs afterwards. I had to lie down with my eyes shut, retching occasionally for an hour! Mikey got the packing up done however and we set off by 10am feeling sure at least that we only had 50miles to do, and that it should be a good road. NOT!!! Struggled through 26 miles, both feeling a bit rough, very hot, continuous rolling hills, annoying youths shouting/whistling/making kissing noises incesently in addition to the usual horrific driving and beeping. The only thing keeping us going was the fact that we can now retaliate beeping back with our horns – great fun. The first time Mikey did it I thought it was a lorry. At 26 miles Mikey’s new back wheel nearly fell off and he couldn’t change gear. Taking it off and inspecting we could see that something pretty drastic was wrong, lots of scraping around the derailier. A completely nuts old man came up and hassled us putting his face in both our faces and speaking without pause for breath – not in English