The plan to battle Hadrian’s wall

I fondly recall this time last year when I had the accommodation booked, the map on hand and the bicycles checked and ready to ride – the British sunshine was out smiling and the earth was still hardy so it was all the more reason to go exploring!  The Boyfriend and I were going to embark on a bicycle journey that would follow the length and history of the famous Hadrian’s wall… over 180 miles along National cycle Route 72.

The Hadrian's Wall cycle route
Dad meets his granddaughter for the first and last time

A last-minute thought of my Dad gave me the idea to also raise money for a Parkinson’s charity. My Dad had unexpectedly passed away at the beginning of the year. He was only 62 and had suffered for over 30 years with Parkinson’s which had him taking a lot of medication and restricting him to the vicinity of his home.  He was always full of fun and laughter.  He was an inspiration, always encouraging me to enjoy life… Watching someone you love gradually deteriorate is heart breaking.  I suppose you could say I was missing my Dad and I hoped that this cycle journey would help to put a smile back on my face?

A day before we left London I had things strewn across the bed and the question I asked myself was ‘Will it all fit into the Pannier?”.  When you go on a cycling trip it is well-known that the less weight you carry the easier it is.  I had to be ruthless… As long as I had something warm and waterproof I would be fine.  It was time to do a bit of squashing and squeezing!

When the time came to leave London the skies didn’t look like they did the previous week!  The darker the clouds got the more I thought about battling the wind and rain from my trusty bike seat…  I chose to ignore the weather and helped to put the bicycles onto the bike rack attached to our beloved purple Micra.  It wasn’t long before we were heading to the far north to the coastal village of Ravenglass.   I started praying for the sun gods to return and to my surprise donations to my chosen Parkinson’s charity had already begun to trickle in!

The long drive up north seemed to go on forever, mind you we did discover a very busy fish and chip shop which served delicious pieces of battered fish.  One of the customers had his corvette parked outside and the shop owner thought the shiny car belonged to my Boyfriend! The middle-aged owner of the car became rather grumpy over this confusion and did a big wheelie out of the car park – This had us giggling all the way to our final destination.  We arrived to a thick coat of darkness in sleepy Ravenglass and found the Rosegarth B&B facing the shimmer of the sea.  


The following morning we awoke from a very cosy sleep to hear the rain battering against the window and the wind whistling softly.  I pulled the curtains to one side and was greeted with the daunting sight of thick black skies.  It looked so gloomy, our instincts were to stay curled up under the warmth of the duvet, but we had a cycle journey to start and a cooked breakfast waiting down stairs for us…

All I could think of was: Nothing was going to stop us – so let the adventure begin!

What happened to the sun?

25 thoughts on “The plan to battle Hadrian’s wall

  1. I have just come across your wonderful blog. I am going to have to read all your posts, lots of great cycling stories to appreciate!

    1. Thank you for all your comments! It is great to hear from the people who read my blog. I am so pleased you have enjoyed reading about all my cycle trips. I have been a bit slack of late as I am tripping around Africa, sadly without a bike. I do have more journeys coming soon.

  2. The photo of your dad is great (and a little heartbreaking given the context). It makes me miss my dad a bit. I really love the last photo through the glass in the rain. It is wonderful. I may have to put this trip on my list of bike-tours to go on in the future. Cheers.

  3. I walked it last year taking in any pubs on the way…..Great fun until my pesky leg gave out on the final day….thankfully that just meant missing out walking through Newcastle so i spent the whole day in a fine drinking establishment……

  4. This is going to be a wonderful series of posts. I’m really sorry about your dad and fully understand your desire to raise funds on the expedition. I did the same for a climb of Kilimanjaro in memory of a good friend who died far too young. The adventure becomes more than simple pleasure.

  5. Sorry about your dad! 😦 I like the attitude, rain can’t stop a cyclist like you! 😀 Great post! 😀 Beautiful pictures!

  6. Congrats on the Freshly Pressed. I’ve now discovered your blog and am being awakened to the bike touring possibilities in England; which means I’ve started dreaming of my own adventures there. Thanks for sharing your experiences and photos.

  7. That’s wonderful you did this for your father. I, too, hope it was not wet, but that’s life. Gorgeous shot of the sea, by the way.

  8. Nice pictures and well written. There are lots of nice places to go in Middle England too. I hope to go to Shakespeare’s birthplace next year! This weekend I’ll be closer to home but there is still a lot to explore. I have over 600 photographs on Facebook now and I have lost count of how many there is on my computer! Keep blogging, you are doing better than some professional writers.

  9. Shame you only saw Ravenglass in the rain. I had the privilage on a two week holiday there and had a lovely time. Beautiful spot and so close to lots of attractions.
    Cannot wait to hear more of your trip.

  10. Brilliant post, great charity and lovely photographs. Cycling Hadrians wall is something I have always wanted to do – I look forward to hearing about your journey some more! Well done.

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