Sat, 09 Jun 2001
Lynbridge to Boscastle // at 23:59
Trip total: ??km
I discovered today that my panniers are falling apart! The right one has lost one of the bolts that holds a hook on, and the left one has come half-undone. The threads on the left hand side are stripped and the aluminium bar is bent where the hole weakens it. Will they last seven more weeks?
I got lost in Barnstaple in the Saturday morning market crowds, then it took ages to get out of town onto the Tarka Trail, and as soon as I found the trail I punctured the rear! Wheel off, tyre off, tube out, patched, back together, back on the bike, all before finding out that it was a snake-bite and I had the other hole still to fix. Consequently, not in the best of moods as I rode out of town.
About 65km into the day the tyre went soft so I was pumping it up every 10km, preferring to change it when I got to town rather than out on the road. On top of that, I didn't eat enough and bonked out at Holsworthy. The Holsworthy bakery performed life-saving service with a cup of tea, an apple donut and a slice of tea cake, and I was in much better spirits from then on.
The last 30km seemed interminable, dragging on and on up and down the hills. I finally got in to Boscastle at 5:30 and it more than made up for it. The town is magic, a little world heritage village nestled in the bay, the sort of place that made me think of parking the bike and just moving in for a year, to live here through the winter as well as the summer tourist time. The YHA is right on the harbour in a converted old warehouse, there are photos of waves coming over the wharf and hitting 4’ up the walls, washing two foot deep around the door!
Changing inner tubes I found that the spare has a slightly shorter valve stem and is barely long enough to fit through the crappy rim. Pumping it up was a trial of patience, as it has to be completely flat to let the pump grip the valve, but if it slides off before its fully inflated, I have to let it all back down again!