The best laid plans…
It’s the day before the LEJOG begins: in twelve hours I’ll be setting off from Penzance and pedalling to Land’s End, before turning back on myself and heading north west for that far-off destination of John o’ Groats.
I’ve never ridden LEJOG before, but this is a special kind of tour: as well as cycling, I’ll be promoting my book, Eat, Sleep, Cycle: a bike ride around the coast of Britain. I’ve planned an event in twenty venues along the way, where I’ll be giving a talk and reading from my book. It’s been a hard few months securing venues and promoting the events, and I’m looking forward to getting down to some good old cycling.
Except, the cycling nearly didn’t happen.
A few days ago I received a phone call from First Great Western: “Hello Ms Hughes, I’m calling to advise you that the sleeper train to Penzance has been cancelled due to strike action…”
I went cold; I can’t not be there! All my plans!
“…so would you like us to book you into a hotel in Paddington on the Monday night, then on the first train on the Tuesday morning?”
Oh dear. That won’t work – my first event is on Tuesday night so I need to start pedalling that morning.
“No, I’m an author,” I explained, “and I start a book tour on Tuesday so I need be there.” (I’ve decided my author voice needs to be posh).
“Certainly madam; I can book you a First class seat on an earlier train on the Monday, and issue a full refund.”
Wow, this author thing is paying off!
“And I’ll need a hotel when I get to Penzance,” I continue.
“I’m sure that won’t be a problem,” she says.
I feel like royalty as she gives me all the details and I hang up. Disaster averted: I’ll get to Penzance after all. And free First Class travel and a hotel when I get there! Brilliant.
A day later I dropped a D lock on my foot and broke my toe.
After the initial pain had subsided I started to *really* panic: my tour! I can’t ride 1000 miles with a broken toe – can I? Fortunately it’s not the big toe so it turns out I can still ride a bike – whether I can ride 1000 miles or not is yet to be seen.
Here’s hoping that bad things don’t come in threes…