I am realizing that a few weeks would have been needed to cover what we would have liked to do in England. Regardless we had an adventure. Leaving London was bittersweet becasue of the friends we had met the morning we departed. As we rode everything seemed to crumble. First, the bolt to Keagans rack snapped in his frame. That sucked but he washed away the anger, put on a smile, fixed it, and rode away. Then about ten minutes later the actual rack snapped completely. Besides the obvious frustration, it was a beautiful day in England, which we have been told don't happen a lot.
To avoid being stuck behind a day, we hopped a train to Reading to stay with some friends. It's a complete mess with no bike compartment so automatically we are assholes, and being American didn't help our cause. Keagan gets out to let people in then the doors close and he is gone. All I did was laugh and waited for him in Reading.
Lucky enough to find a bike shop, Keagan found a new rack and we headed towards Bath. Our route was a little gloomy but gorgeous. We winded through feilds and canals, past boat houses and made new friends. We rode for hours stopping for coffee in a small town pretty confident about the rest of the ride, then realized we had 40 miles left with about an hour of sunlight. So we took a train. Spent the night in Bath, and made it to Fishguard with a combination of riding and getting yelled at in trains.
Before Fishguard, we were riding into Bristol to catch the train. For some reason tensions were high and we were pissed at each other but the train station was in our sights so we knew what was ahead. Crossing a bridge with a floor resembling a cheese-grader, another cyclist rode by warning us about the consequences if we fell. He was British, friendly and seriously interested on what the hell we were doing. We told him what we were about and that we had been riding the bike paths in England. As soon as that was mentioned he was curious about what we thought, the condition of the path, and how it compared. As we were talking and Keagan gave him our info he handed me his card. On it his title was "Mayor of Bristol." I looked up with a confused grin, "yo, are you the mayor," and with a confident grin he throws back "yep, I run the place."
That interaction had me laughing through the train ride to Fishguard. Making it there we pulled into a "backpackers lodge." Not expecting much, we were stoked to meet Steve. This guy was not only a hardcore surfer, he was down in Baja, Mexico and Southern California surfing and bumming through the 70's and 80's. I couldn't tell who was more stoked to be meeting each other, us or him. He had the right idea. He was stoked on our trip and mentality on life, and we could tell he had the same mind-set.
Headed to a pub to wind down, got pulled into conversation with some young kids, a self proclaimed communist/photographer, and woke up to our last ferry into our last country.