My journey down to London was a mix of positives and negatives. I boarded the train at Lincoln and having never put a bike on a train before, obviously put it in the wrong place. The guard boarded the train and took immediate offence at this, and shouted sarcastically ‘Who does the bike belong to…?’. I said it was mine, and he told me it ‘obviously needs to be in the bike section, doesn’t it’. I can’t remember exactly how the whole conversation went, but it involved me telling him there wasn’t much need to be quite so obnoxious, rude, and sarcastic. I moved the bike, and on returning for the panniers he felt it necessary to tell me I had to move them as well. I replied that that’s precisely what I was coming back to do and I couldn’t move the whole lot at once. Anyway. He clearly realised during the journey how much of an arse he’d been, as he then went out of his way to be helpful as the train was approaching Newark. Strange man.
Things couldn’t have been more different at Newark. I was standing on the platform waiting for the next train, and one of the platform staff came over and started chatting about the bike and my trip. She was really friendly, and was happy to be finishing work at 2:30 so she could drive home to South Yorkshire to see her Dad for Father’s Day. We chatted for the 25 minutes or so until my train, then she made sure I was in the right place for the carriage my bike would be going on, and helped me with the panniers when the train arrived.
I met Kate at Kings Cross, and found her helping an old lady who was having trouble finding her daughter. They were reunited. Happy ending.
We went for a walk to the shop for some ingredients for supper, and stopped by at ‘Look Mum, No Hands!’, a brilliant little cafe/bike repair shop nearby. A bit trendy (excuse the word trendy…it was), but a really nice place.
We got back and cooked a delicious roast veg lasagne, which we’ve just finished eating, and it’s now time for an early night. I aim to be on the road by 06:00 tomorrow, so that I can get the busiest bit of London out of the way before the worst of the rush hour traffic starts.
Big day tomorrow. 120km. I’m feeling a mix of excitement, anticipation and a little nervousness… And I don’t get nervous.