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Getting to the start at John O'Groats

Sunday 25th July 2010

The day of departure had finally arrived. Catherine had made me a full English Breakfast to start the day. Packing and checking details consumed the day until it was time to get on the bike for the very short journey to the railway station.

Setting off from home

The whole family cycled down with me and I was only too aware of all the extra weight in the trailer. I had packed it to capacity. As we approached the station up a gentle slope I thought ahead to the hills I would have to climb pulling the trailer. It wasn't a pleasant thought. At the station I detached the trailer and I said goodbye to Catherine, James and Rhea. We took some photos and hugged each other until the train came.

As soon as the doors opened I got the bike on and rested it against the opposite doors. Catherine passed me the trailer and James valiantly struggled to carry the trailer bag. The doors shut and I stood looking out at my waving family as the train began to pull away. It was a sad feeling leaving them behind and I was glad that they would travel up to York to see me at the end of the week.

The journey up to Waterloo was uneventful save for the nuisance my bike and trailer caused to people getting on and off. One at the terminal I re-attached the trailer and made my way through the concourse to the Waterloo Road exit. From there I cycled over Waterloo Bridge and made my way across to Euston. My journey passed me within a few streets of Great Ormond Street Hospital, the charity I was raising money for through my ride. At Euston, after a short wait, I made my way to my carraige and my sleeper cabin on the overnight service to Inverness. I quickly dumped my trailer bag and then cycled back up to the guards van where I could store the bike and trailer.

The train left on time but weirdly after about ten minutes pulled into a siding at Wembley Depot where the train was scheduled to wait about 90 minutes. I bought a cup of tea and returned to my cabin and ate my sandwiches, a portion of raisins and a chocolate bar given to me by my children as a parting gift. I had the cabin to myself as the other occupier had not turned up. So after writing my diary, brushing teeth and visiting the smallest room I settled down.

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