Monday, 24 November 2014

Britannia, Bristles with steep hills galore

First stop turn left, orientate yourself onto the wrong side of the road, the right side, the left side. Get some pictures of the Queen printed out of the wall, find the little Cremyll ferry and have a nice proper mug of tea while you’re waiting for the ferry to come.
We had to take everything off of the bicycles and lift the bicycles onto the ferry. Off we goes to Cornwall, chug chug chug.
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Off the ferry we meet our first Cornish hill. We don’t know how steep, but it is quite a hill up and over Maker down to Millbrook to spend a lovely couple of days with Cornish seadogs, canoeing in the Cawsand bay, eating English Breakfast, Fish and Chips, drinking real ale, catching up on all our cravings. The fish were jumping out of the water, the beaches glistening with whitebait lining the shores and one evening a giant shopping bag full of mackerel has been delivered to every household in Millbrook, well almost.
We performed the show at Maker Campsite, a great little place on the top of the hill and caught up with old friends and made new ones. Good place for a staycation. We like English campsites, it’s refreshing to see tents pitched on the top of the cliffs, with no hedges separating them and the local pub and artists studios just next doors, aaargh, right salty it was.

Up the Drakes Way towards Dartmoor and the Hairy Hands. But first we have to get past this beastly creature and others that were scorching about in Plym Wood.
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Going up onto Dartmoor we learned that it isn’t very good cycling on too many full english breakfasts. It was rainy and foggy and cold and up and down and up again but fortunately there was another lovely pub campsite in Princetown (where the famous Dartmoor prison is) a pub with homely pub grub pies and more full english breakfast. Aah the Plume of Feathers, what else would it be called?  In Princetown we caught sight of Sherlock Holmes and his dressing up box and a big scary hound. The Hairy Hands don’t like the wet so they stayed in and we were safe.
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After Princetown there was another killer day of hills around Morton Hampstead and then into Exeter. Never again! Europe’s so flat!
And then onto the canals, through gorgeous gorges….
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…across the Somerset levels, the Strawberry Line, were there’s no Strawberries to be seen, just cider apples….
It’s kind of nice to be on home turf.
And it’s always a pleasure to visit real bicycle shops like Really Usefull Bikes out in the outskirts of Bristol.
It seems to be the only shop in Europe where we can actually really truly buy the things we need, like strong wheels for our cargo bikes, special tools other little special things that no one else stocks anywhere but here! Thanks Rob!
If you want a really beautiful useful bike go and visit Rob in his workshop and have a ride on one or two or all of the bikes and for sure you’ll fall in love with at least one of them.

Now that the work is done and we have fixed our bikes it is time for some serious fun with our friends …..
Hackspace provided the table and the tea necessary to make 100 throwies for high visibility mini bikes and cycling safety. And then it was up to Leigh Woods for our only only Zoobomb of the year. Past the zoo, up the downs and down the hill to King Street for real ale and real chips. Oh yeah!
see Facebook  Post by Molly Bikebeard.

We got to play our show at Roll for the Soul, which opened just after we left. So it was great to finally see it and play to a home crowd.
Keep it rolling and growing soul rollers!

Drooling over mini bike heaven at the new Les Velobici headquarters at the Bristol Bike Project.
Les Velobici -

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It is bicycle art at its finest!

More art at the Bike Project, which just doesn’t stop growing. The future is now!
We even went up to Clifton to not find Biggles at a Pop Up Bicycle Exhibition/Shop. Bicycles in Clifton!? The future is now!
That Clifton pop-up

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Time to say good bye. Kevin tries to float down the cycle route in a paper boat…
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…. it,s not working so he’s back on the bike. It’s very green in England, the canals are a bit special!

We met the Gruffalo and his friend the mouse on the river Exe and they warned us of the scary hills to come…

… but it is sure, there’s nothing we can do but face them and all their %ness. This beastly one here is 20%. The gentle landscape is deceiving, cause them hills go straight up them rolling hills. It’s still the toughest cycling we’ve met, down here in Devon and Cornwall….
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Next stop Portugal. If you’re lucky you’ll get another blog before that, because it’s not far now.

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