Reading to Rouen

So these past four days I’ve been away! Two of which I spent cycling from Reading to Rouen.

I left early Thursday morning with Doppler and got on the 8.44am train to Reading. On arrival at Reading station at 9.14am, I got lost… Indeed I thought google map indications would suffice, they didn’t. Thus after struggling to get out of the city I stopped at a gaz station to buy a road map – before then I was realising that ‘all roads DO NOT lead to Rome’ but ‘all roads lead to an Industrial Estate’.

The Road map made all the difference and I pedalled up and down hill all the way to Southampton passing through Basingstoke and Winchester. I stayed a few hours in Southampton at a friend’s house where I was able to have a little shower and a doze. I then left at 8pm for Portsmouth. I got to the ferry terminal on time and was asked to wait in line with all the cars to be boarded on the ferry for Le Havre. There I met met a couple who had also done a fair bit of cycling. We discussed how unfit for bicycles most roads are.

I arrived in Le Havre the next day at 8am. On the other side of the channel roads are just as unfit for cyclist, especially the roads leading out of Le Havre! I cycled for a couple hours in some sort of industrial jungle where my only road partners were monstrous lorries ten thousand times my size! Suddenly industrial France came to an end and rural France began. I battled against the -7°C wind on a surprise and endless bicycle path along the Seine. Exhausted, I took a break and had lunch in a classy restaurant in Villequier. With nice food and a glass of red wine in my stomach I was able to race all the way to Rouen. I got there at approximately 5pm. The last few meters towards the train station awoke a slight pain in my left knee, so I walked the rest of the way, got on a train to Paris and read till I arrived at Paris St Lazare .

All in all, the 250km – 155miles 1trip went well. The cold wasn’t too awful – Doppler and me were well prepared! 🙂

Then I stayed a couple of nights at home with my family where we gave my sister plenty of birthday surprises. I left on the 6th February for Oxford. I took the Eurostar. I survived the train, Doppler did not. Someone decided to be careless and bent Doppler’s back wheel as well as his rear gear changer… I filed a complaint and repaired him as much I could. We then discovered bikes aren’t allowed in the underground, even if the bike is poorly.  We were authorised on the circle line. We went round the entire line before finally getting to Victoria station. From there we took the Oxford Tube back home’.

Moral of the story: most roads and trains are unfit for bicycles.

1 Comment

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One response to “Reading to Rouen

  1. Sherlock O

    I hope Doppler is feeling better now. I feel a slightly dented rear wheel is a sign of maturity in a bike. But a bent one can cause discomfort and, in severe cases, self-confidence or even identity problems through uncertainty about the direction one’s life is leading. Sometimes this can be dealt with using a hammer, although there can be side effects.

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