My friends and I were charmed by our southern friend, Cindy, who rides a trike with a jaunty flag and says y’all even in England. She proposed this trip to our group. The five of us from five different US states met on our cross-country bike trip in 2014. This time we are riding 1,100 from the bottom to the top of the UK over 22 days (with two rest days), carrying our gear, attempting to follow a route through small Villages, and staying in Bed & Breakfasts.
We are better in our second act, not taking ourselves too seriously. But when we all said, YES, we certainly didn’t know that Cornwall and Devon are England’s Rocky Mountains!
Cindy said that the LEJOG ride is famous. The four of us (and likely most everyone reading this) have never heard of this route, first walked by some blokes in the late 1800s. Since then, all sorts of people (Brits mostly) have done it, some naked! Given the temps, we don’t expect to become the next Calendar Girls (originally Yorkshire women who made a name for themselves as feisty philanthropists by delicately positioning flowers over their bodies, in a page-turning calendar that raised LOTS of money for a local cause).
One local woman upon hearing that Cindy was our impetus for this particular ride said, “Let’s hope she doesn’t get a hankering to swim the English Channel!”
My colleague, Joe Coughlin, director of the MITAgeLab, recently published an article in Forbes magazine highlighting research that demonstrates that socialization is good for one’s health— and that women have perfected this healthy behavior.
So here we are eating Nutella sandwiches, laughing, and hoping that we will still be laughing after 22 days when we arrive in northern Scotland.
Always on the lookout for signs that make me smile, I wasn’t disappointed on today’s ride from Tiverton to Cheddar. After climbing ANOTHER mountain (17 % grade) we swooped down into farm country.
I love your journey!
I appreciate your writing, the mini history lessons, the amusing anecdotes, the glimpse into the daily slog … thank you.