Woke up early today!
Today was the first day of the trip, where I got out of the bivy bag before 9am, yay!
How I managed this awesome achievement you ask? I had help 😉
After those hard negotiations with my leg yesterday I found a camping spot in the forest next to the road, like most days. Since it was raining, I didn’t spread out my kit, but focused on getting into the bags as fast as possible.
So, I went to sleep quite early for my standards and set an alarm to not sleep too late. Turns out this was unnecessary, since around an hour later I woke up, feeling soaking wet around my hips.
At first I thought the camel bag broke and I was sleeping in my drinking water, but it turned out to be a puddle of rain, inside my beloved and hyped bivy bag… I felt betrayed by the only piece of kit I hadn’t lost trust in during the last week.
But instead of holding a grudge, my sharp and analytical mind immediately sprung into action, and I did what every good problem-solver would do: pretend the problem doesn’t exist and therefore avoid dealing with it.
So I tried to move out of the puddle and carry on sleeping. This of course is a futile endeavor, since the bag is about 80cm wide and the water follows you wherever you are laying…
Next step in the problem solving process? Accept it. OK, OK, my hips are wet, so what? I can still sleep, right? Might not be the best sleep, but better than nothing or even getting up!
Sadly, this didn’t help either and I soon got colder and colder.
So, action needed to be taken. I looked up hotels and camp sites on my phone. After looking at the prices I almost decided to go back to step 1 of the problem solving process…
A decision was taken to ride 70km to the next camping spot, since all the hotels in between were way too expensive.
So, under much cursing and dreaming about holidays on tropical beaches, I dressed into the wet cycling clothes, packed my stuff and set off.
The next hours were an exciting spectacle where grey clouds and rain turned into even greyer clouds and more rain, all accompanied by the balmy temperature of 8°. I was amazed. Not.
The rest of the day is described quickly: took best (and first) shower of the trip, went into my little cabin, slept, dried stuff, ate, slept some more.
The plan for the next days? Part 1 of the problem-solving process: pretend there are no problems.
I took the cleats of my shoes, allowing them in theory to move freely and hopefully improving the situation in my knees. We’ll see if that helps, but I saw that Lee Fancourt, who is currently trying to break the cycling-record from Nordkapp to Gibraltar, is using flat pedals without cleats and figured if he can beat the record without being clipped in, I might be able to reach home in the same manner.
(I also felt pretty good when I read that he got fucked by the rain as well).
On the same note, if you are interested in watching crazier people than me cycling around, currently there is the Tour Divide and the TransAm bike race going on. There is little official race coverage besides the linked websites, but this will also be the website where my progress of the Transcontinental race in July will be tracked, so you can already practice 😉
Next Post: Day 10: Catching up