This last Friday we took the bikes and some of our other kit, yes that does include the kitchen sink (or Ortlieb collapsible bowl at least), to Wallop Primary School to show the children. The Headmaster Mr Patterson kindly involved us in the weekly assembly, and then allowed us to explain our trip to the children.
After assembly the children were taken out to the playground, and we rode on the bikes for them to have a look at, and the last of the questions were answered.
The children will be following the route online, and they will very generously be raising money for Riders for Health. Hopefully they will be able to post some questions that we will be able to answer en route.
Following our confidence having been built up on the off-road course, we have take a couple of trips down the greenlanes in our area. Feeling that the ‘Not suitable for motorised transport’ warning signs should adequately prepare us for the roads we are expecting.
Well, I don’t know so much about the roads being the problem. My first tumble came through misjudging the width of the panniers, and clipping a fridge that some considerate soul had left on the path (right next to a large puddle too). The most dramatic off though came through a combination off confusion and bad luck. I was leading down a long twisty and rather steep hill, and hadn’t seen Cathy behind me for a little while so decided to wait and see if I needed to go back up and help. Cathy had started the downhill quite tentatively, and having regained her confidence was now coming down the hill full tilt (I think you can see where this is going). I won’t go into the exchange of words as Cathy rounded the corner to try and haul a bike to a standstill against the inevitability of gravity and gravel. Needless to say I spent the next day beating out my panniers and the glue gun will be warmed up for some reconstructive surgery on the front of Cathy’s bike.
On a positive note though we now know that the panniers will take a real beating (in more ways than one). Also that even when we are both in a tangled pile of idiot and machine, it is possible to extricate ourselves and carry on.