Day 11 Update

I just didn’t sleep on the night of the night of day 10. Whether it was excitement, fear that I would get lost and wind up at Brands Hatch, or just the fact that I knew had an early wakeup, sleep just didn’t happnen.

So I got on my bike at 5:30am (as the sun had started to appear at 2:30am after disappearing at 11:00pm) and set off. Fortunately I didn’t forget the 30km route to the track, but I discover that it’s almost entirely uphill from Newport Pagnell to Silverstone. This fact was hammered home by the fact that the return journey was 30 minutes quicker.

Nearing the track, a group of cyclists (they looked more like drunks) were taking a different route than the “google map” directions to the front gate. It turned out to be a ripper short cut through a golf course, a forest and a paddock to Copse corner. Winning.

I’ve never in my life encountered so many helpful gate/security staff. My first worry was where am I going to lock up my bike, but before I could ask, a lady said “You’ll enjoy riding your bike around the track today, inidit.” Winning x2.

The first thing inside the entry gate was a “bacon roll stand”, which saved my sleep deprived/sweat soakded life. Unlike the baseball, all of the concession stands were very reasonably priced, with food coming in at around £4.00 and drinks £2.20.

I did a lap of the track’s perimeter before play, before setteling in at the end of Wellington Straight/Brookfields/Luffield for GP3, Copse for GP2 and Becketts for Porsche Supercup.

The place was utterly chockers, ditto the grandstands, which were rather massive, yet very temporary looking in construction.

Before the F1 race I found a tree on the grass behind the grandstand and had an hour long kip, despite the constant whirring of the world’s busiest helicopter port.

Pre-race entertainment consisted of the Red Arrows, and they were freaking brilliant. Also, I was well pleased with my seat, top row of the Stowe grandstand A, so you could see the cars enter Becketts, exit Becketts, all the way onto the pit straight when you would lose them behind the Wing.

In the race Pirelli did it’s bit for the fans at Stowe by providing us with multiple blowouts. When these happened and no safety car was deployed, I was fairly appauled over the relaxed approach by the marshalls, who would slowly wander off the track as the cars were tearing down on them, lap after lap. Scary stuff.

There was no doubting who the favourite son of England is- and it’s definitely not Jensen, despite most of the crowd wearing McLaren kit.

For every lap after Lewis had his puncture, the crowd went absolutely batshit. It was amazing! It was as if there was nobody else in the race.

I sat there quietly all race long, until three laps to go I yelled something at Webber, which startled those around me.

At the chequered flag, I was able to make a dash through an adjacent paddock and freedom, beating what I’m sure would have been a ripper traffic snarl.

Stopped in at the Pury End and Potterspury villages on the way home, and also went for a ride through a genuine English willow cricket bat plantation.

Got home. Collapsed. Epic day!

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Day 10 Update

So here’s the deal- I went to bed last night utterly buggered due to a very large day. Didn’t sleep, quite excited, it’s 4am and I’m typing.

Yesterday was bicycle around London day, and it was fantastic.

Ok, a slightly inauspicious start when the gear cable on my bike snapped at Buckingham Palace, so a noisey fixed speed cycle it was to be.

Cruised through Kensington Gardens, spotted a palace, then it was off to Little Venice for the first sighting of the canals.

Made it to Lords for the 11am tour. Brilliant. Checked out the famed Long Room, both change rooms, the grand stands and the media centre. Also checked out the real Ashes Urn in the museum. Made it to the gift shop in time to see the final two minutes of the rugby… Straya!

Around the corner was the Beatles Abbey Road pedestrian crossing. Dicked around there and held up traffic some.

Hooked back up with the canals at Regent’s Park and made our way around to the Camden Lock Markets. Wow. What an amazing place! You could go in there with a lot of money, spend a whole day and walk out very happy.

Continued along the canals, before heading back to the River Thames to drop off Madam’s cycle. The weather was mint for a ride, and there was very little traffic on the bits of road we used.

Walked back up to Euston Station, stopping for beer. Dropped the bike off, and continued walking around, back up to Camden. Not ideal for already tired legs…

Quick 30 minute Virgin Train ride back to Milton Keynes. It turned out the cycle wouldn’t disassemble to go in Madam’s car, so I rode back to Newport Panell. Really nice route on some dedicated paths in the forest. Lovely.

Walked into town for a beer and a pint. Excellent day. Off to Silverstone, stay tuned…

Trip Day 10 London

Kensington GardensKensington GardensKensington PalaceKensington PalaceLittle VeniceLittle Venice
Abbey RoadAbbey RoadRegent's CanalPirate CastleCanalCamden Lock Market
Filling StationLondonLondonThe Doric ArchSpewLords
Huh?Camden Lock MarketLordsLordsLordsCamden Lock Market

Trip Day 10 London, a set on Flickr.

Day 5 Update

Who’s idea was it to set up San Francisco on mountain on top of a tectonic timebomb? Good grief, there are some hills around here. More on that soon…

Time- 4:45am, something went crash in a big way, sounded like a garbage truck exploded. Whatever, I was awake.

With it raining slightly, and knowing how Australian drivers lose all ability when it rains slightly, I decided to head the 61 miles back to SFO and drop my baby Mustang off. Sigh.

Even with some pea soup fog, the Californian drivers all proved themselves to be capable of steering without shunting.

Caught Bart back into the city (it’s the train), dropped bags, and cable carred it off to Lombard Street (the winding one).

Picked up a bicycle, which evidently had zero gears for going downhill or flat, but 21 gears for going straight up mountains. This proved useful on the first mountain. Hard work!

The helpful dude at the bike shop gave me some pointers on the best damage limitation routes regarding hills, and he was pretty much on the money.

Went around Golden Gate Bridge to the beach side, then through Golden Gate Park to the California Academy of Science. It was a neat place (including the most recent America’s Cup winning boat hanging from the roof), but utterly packed with small kids trying to run into your knees.

Weaved back over to the Bridge, which was still covered in cloud, but very spooky/cool. Rode over to Sausalito, cruised around for an hour or so, and caught the ferry back to San Francisco.

Dropped the bike off, lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf, and walked around the waterfront for a couple of hours, including checking out the SS Jeremiah O’Brien.

Caught the cable car back to the hotel. Knackered. Can’t really type too well. That is all.

Trip Day 5 San Francisco & Bay

Cable CarCoffeeAquariumElephantFisherman's WharfSurprise!
#prFostersLombard StreetGolden Gate BridgeBicycleSan Francisco
Golf TeeLegion of HonourLegion of HonourSan FranciscoDutch WindmillBison Paddock
Disc GolfGolden Gate ParkFocult's PendulumAmerica's CupCritterAlcatraz

Trip Day 5 San Francisco & Bay, a set on Flickr.

How to make it rain

Well that’s good to know… I used to think that if I washed my car, it would start raining. I can now extend that to washing my bicycle as well. Good job, Melbourne weather, you win this round.

Bicycle Road Tripping

#melbourne you've done it again #sunsetIt's Mr Ed! #horse #ney#badass #punk #graffiti #cowsYou don't see this every day... #temple #melbourne#rapids on the #river #yarra (not #slowpids) #waterfallPitlane markings #f1 #ausgp
A #babbling #brook #creek #trees #foliage #nicenessForeground- #maribyrnong #river Background- #flemington #racecourse #horsies #ney #thecup #melbourneThe Love & Lewis #oldscool #vintage #architecture#melbourne #city #yarra #river #rowing#melbourne #sunrise #williamstown#cherry #lake #altona #melbourne

Bicycle Road Tripping, a set on Flickr.

Various places the bicycle has taken me