Friday, October 26, 2007

Day Nine, 10-26-07

Woke to a cloudy dry day of about 50 degrees. Great breakfast, came back to the room and made some post cards from the photos I picked up yesterday. I'm getting ready to shower and head down town to check my emails and see about tickets for my trip to the airport next Tuesday. I read that the tickets may be cheaper on non rush hour times and that if you buy them early. Afterwards

I will head north west and try to pick up on some of the northern National cycle route #2. After finishing email and finding that I had been charged as much as 40 dollars a call on my card I decided that I wont be making any more calls with the cash card. I will need to find a phone card later when I have to make calls getting ready to go home. I finished with mailing the cards and getting and sending emails and thought how nice it would be to go back to "Gray's" for "Cream Tea", Once a week. OK? Its so great, Very civilized and tons of calories for a day of riding. It really couldn't be any better and one of those things that will drive me crazy not being able to get it back home. I'm glad I went again, and will go once more before I leave on Tuesday afternoon.

I did have a pleasant surprise today, I found that the train ticket back to Reading was only 48 dollars and 24 pounds. The bus ticket is supposed to be around 13 pounds and not any cheaper if I wait, so I will. The ride today was fantastic. I headed north west on the bike trail out of the train station and got a little turned around but soon found myself on route again heading northwest. I did a slow round a-bout Totnes staying no more then 5 miles on the outskirts and trying to stay at about 450' above sea level. I went off the #2 route and felt fine , paying attention to the compass and the altimeter. In never rained but did get a little moist so I spent the day with my wind breaker on. Very comfortable. I found a very cute pub that when I looked at the hours of operation and my watch, was only going to be open for another 10 minutes. They said it would be fine to come in for a pint. Very cute place and very old. Very Narrow, Very Steep.

When I got back to the bike it was covered with a fine cover of dew. Never a drop. The air was wonderful. I love it when it gets damp with the smells greatly enhanced. I continued on. Trying to stay at least 5 miles out of town and never any lower then 300'. I came around a big right hand corner and downhill. There were huge stone arch's ahead that looked like the aqueduct for the Boston water works, yet taller. 2 seconds later the fast train went by. That answered my question about maybe being able to ride up there. I went under and crossed a busy street and continued on to find a Trout hatchery that had a sign saying they sold smoked fish. I had to pull in. About 3 dollars. I will have it for dinner with the chips and cheese. Beautiful afternoon, I thought it be best to have lights and reflector bands on. The roads are so magical. The smell of silage and cow is enchanting. It is so green, most likely from the wet summer they had here. I still cant get over the greenery on the sides of the road. I wondered who trimmed it and how often, until I came up to an egg delivery truck that just fit. Its sides were knocking off leaves as it passed. Forget about if it ever had to pass a bike. It just wouldn't happen! My trip here so far has been perfect. The place and room I'm staying couldn't be nicer. Janet makes such a fuss making sure everything's right. She is really a very loving and caring person.
The bike has performed better then I expected. The 22 tooth cog is exactly the gear for the hills. All but a few I have needed to get off and walk and its only because of the sun pinion on the axle, that I have broken on other Sturmey Archer AW's, that I'm worried about. I do carry a spare axle and the tools to change it, but I'm riding a 70 year old bicycle with a 70 year old transmission, and it has worked great! For those interested, I haven't seen any old Raleigh's, except a delivery bicycle locked, up the street. Its about a 1970, 28" rear wheel, 20" front, Rod brake. Even with the few problems I experienced at first. I'm starting to feel like I will miss being here very much when I'm at home, but know I will be beaming with joy when ever I think back as to the fun I'm having here on My Dream Bicycle, The Golden Arrow, and the places I have and will go. I haven't had a bad ride. I have never flatted and always in total cycling splendor. There are a few people that would love being here with me. I'm not sure if the hills would agree with them of if even the frequent stops for photos and pints that have made meeting people easier then if I had not. The riding is like being in a moving post card all the time, The distant sound of the antique Steam Train's whistle echoing through the hills with the 70 year old Raleigh I'm riding is like being back in time.. I stopped a the 7 star and wrote for a bit with a bag of chips and a pint of Jail Ale. Very yummy, and,, very smooth! After I need to head to the market and pick up some food for the house. It gets dark around 6:00 here, so I have about an hour before I move on.

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