Cycling across Europe for Sands UK – day 8

Day 8-Dover to Dartford

Well after the craziness that was last night I have managed to get to Dartford today. I’ve learnt over the last 24 hours how amazing my friends and family are; what kindness there is in the world; and that I have worth.

These aren’t lesson I needed to learn by any means, but maybe needed to be reminded of them. It’s easy to forget and take for granted the people in your life, but last night people from all over the world were trying to help me find somewhere to stay, or if they couldn’t help send me messages of support; it really put a lot of things into perspective.

Today the theme continued. Right at the beginning of the day I went the wrong way round a roundabout. Would have gotten away with it too if the car waiting to enter opposite me hadn’t been a policeman. He pulled me over, I think he thought I was drunk, but when I explained what I was doing, and the past few days he was very understanding and reasonable about it all. Let me go with a ‘quiet word in the ear’ and a good luck.

A few hours later I was cycling along, when I heard a voice behind me-‘ bike overtaking’. Not unusual but it gave me something to chase for a while (not that I’m competitive at all 😉). I kept up with him well and he eventually called over his shoulder that a cafe was coming up and would I like a cup of tea. I decided to take him up on the offer and he bought me two cups, a snickers and after hearing my story, tried to force feed me copious amounts of cake! It was a great 40 mins, sitting in the sun(yes it finally showed its face) and chatting about cycling. He did a quick health check of Stevie and then followed me for a while making sure I was protected from the crazy truck drivers. In true travelling style though, I have no idea what his name is. So if you did look me up, and are reading this, thank you so much for making my day.

Not all people I met today were so nice. At the end of the day I was getting very tired and had to cross a rail line-properly and legally this time! On the other side the road was a steep hill. No idea why I thought I could get the bike going on such an incline but I did. Got on, tried to pedal and promptly fell off, right on my damaged right knee from last Friday. Blood everywhere, bike on top of me, and a chap walked straight past me, grabbing his daughter to him as if I was some nut job. What a wonderful lesson he taught her today. Anyway for some mad reason I thought ‘well I couldn’t get the bike started once, but I will this time’ got on…and fell off again, this time the other side. You have to laugh at the stupidity to be honest 😂.

I’m not going to tell you about the first place I booked to stay at tonight. It was through booking .com (I think I’m going to stop using them). Let’s just say Shameless had nothing on this pub/Inn. So I ran away as quickly as possible and found a holiday inn. These guys have been so lovely. They took one look at my knees and ran over to clean me up. They put Stevie into the conference room and then gave me a double room for the price of a single.

People truly are good spirited and lovely.

Going to do my best to get to Oxford tomorrow, or even a little further. Because of last night I started 20 miles further to the east then planned. Some people have ask me why I’m pushing myself to finish this in 10 days. They are right. No-one asked me to do this, it’s not an organised event, there are no rules that say I have to be done by Sunday. Except, it’s important to me to get this done by then. People, you have sponsored me to do it in 10 days. Anyone could do it in 14 days or longer, but you did not given your hard earned money for someone to have a jolly. I’m also doing this to prove to myself I can…it’s been hard…I’ve cried a lot to myself the last few days (I think that’s why that chap bought me tea today!) Even if I have to cycle through the the night on Saturday I will finish this on Sunday. I’ll be tired, a bit bloody, and my left arm will be completely useless, but I will do it.

Thank you for all your support. Without your messages, likes, comments I’d probably would have stopped. Thank you to my amazing family..who can’t understand why I’m doing this but have supported me 150%.. I love you all xx

Stats today: 74 miles cycled, 1336 metres climbed (getting close to Everest 😉🗻)

Sat waiting for my fish and chips, drinking a beer and cheering on the Dragons. Tonight I’ll claim my namesake and be Welsh 🙊


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