Day 2 – fish and blips….


The reality of camping in October is setting in….My campsite host liz clearly felt sorry for my wet bedraggled state this morning and very kindly gave me 4 eggs which I polished down in the company of Sean, nice chap who brother was the stuntman for the James Bond and The Queen at the opening of the London olympics.

Sean kindly topped me up with a sugary tea before I set off. The Plan was to cross the Humber bridge today.


1 hour into my ride my heart sank when I saw a signpost saying Louth 1mile. I passed through Louth yesterday at about 3.30pm….i reminded myself I was in no rush and heading for the cost on day 1 would need some sort of geographic calibration and I carried on merrily towards Cleethorpes and Grimsby.
Not that I expected to pass through Grimsby without the smell of fish but wow it’s pungent and rather nice actually. Locals o can understand could get tiresome of the whiff though.
Grimsby to Hull was a nightmare to ride through. The docs, depots, piles of storage, fields of cars and industrial estates knocked me off my route about 10 times. At one point I belligerently tried to cycle along a muddy old railway track. My tires are reinforced but I’m still on a road bike. I wish I’d bought a touring bike at least.

The mud turned to grass and at one point the grass was above my waist. I pushed, after stopping for a hot oxo cube – god, thats a drink for when the cold settles in and you start to loose your mojo. Gin could also work but I’m glad I didn’t because a few minutes later I was on a duel carriageway, mainly full of juggernauts.
Then BANG, my first puncture. For the 2nd time today, maybe 3rd I thought why the heck am I doing this. But then I remembered my old rugby coaches saying (similarities to Barron Pierre du coubertin’s) it’s not about the taking part James, it’s about the winning…I cracked on, but realised I needed my plan B campsite. PS my ride is certainly not about winning, it’s about getting through a day at a time.


I’m working out quickly that these campsite owners can spot an amateur a mile off but the help ams humility shines through with all of them (and I’m sure that will only continue) as one man, that’s me, a bit lost, starts to find his route again.
Anyway my pizza is here now. Thanks for all your comments and encouragement through the various s/m channels I’m trying to use, it means a lot and please remember although I’m doing this for myself, I also want to raise awareness for mental health issues. We all know someone that’s finding life hard and a simple call or text can change their day. Go on, try it…. or are we all too busy x

James Haste 07931487554

Ahh the flats of Lincolnshire and breakfast

Day 1 – The grande depart…

I left far too late, must have been 10.30 ish, but what a start. My middle son joined me for the first mile which was amazing, then he saw a hill and said he needed to get back. He did leave me with some words that will stay with me the whole trip, “dad remember, you haven’t lost of you come back early”. What wise words for a 15 year old. We rarely lose do we do set ourselves up to fail far too often and totally unnecessarily.
I took the old railway line track to Lincoln across a beautiful viaduct hidden away from the human eye and met two lovely chaps, Herman (who’s Dutch bit I think he said he never lived there) and Jeff / Geoff, both retired and making the most of their bikes and their retirements with rides at least twice a week, and they both looked really well for it. It was so nice for me to have that company so early into my ride as there was a danger I’d be missing a few people from mile 1. Actually haven’t thought about them all day 🤔😂
Lincoln to Louth was hard. First I had the mammoth climb up past Lincoln cathedral which I hadn’t expected. Back to reality, cars up my arse, road range, beeping, the whole way. Heart rate was definitely 150+
I took a lot of slightly wrong turns sometimes doubling back sometimes fudging it before I hit the Lincolnshire Wolds… I was 45 miles in by this time. Steep up, fast down, Steep up, fast down, Steep up, fast down… I saw nothing of them instead watching the pool of sweat widen on the tents dry bag, which is tied onto my handlebars. Jeez this did me in big time but after some Percy Pigs, a handful of nuts and a conference call with the same son who did the grande depart with me and the encouraging news I was only 11miles away from the sea, fish and chips and my campsite.
Fish and chips only a few miles from Grimsby was poor I have to say but the view was amazing. Sat on an old wooden bench in an old stone old air raid bunker looking out to a long stretch of MOD owned beech with a sign to one side reading: DANGER of unexploded bombs and missiles. It didn’t say kEEP OUT but it did say it’s highly dangerous to dig or interfere with any objects found here. The notice finished with: No rewards will be granted by the MOD for any objects found. I decided not to explore and finished my fish and chips, put my tent up, write my blog and pass out….
66miles and stage 1 complete 4000 odd miles to go….Bicycle intact, intact running like a dream
Over and Out

The Plan….

Home was a beautiful farming village that boasts the only place in the world they still practiced medieval farming. The farms are owned by mam herself, the crown (and in the heart of the village we have a great pub ‘the Dovecotte inn’, popular with visitors and walkers there is a B&B ‘the goat house’ but apart from that it’s a quiet, peaceful, idilic village.
I used to commute (weekly boarding) to London where work was. I always remember the stress leaving me as came up to the village. There was never any frustration being slightly delayed by a horse, a tractor or pheasants going about their business in the middle of the quiet roads.
It’s fair to say I’ll miss it, not least the people in it…
So the plan….Heading out past Lincoln towards mablethorpe and my first sight of the our clear turquoise sea is about 60 miles, certainly enough for day 1. Particularly adjusting to the weight I’m carrying. I must remember there’s no rush. I suspect I’ll learn a lot on day 1, hopefully all positive or at least issues I’ll be able to turn into a positives.
From there I’ll be keeping the sea on my right as I head up the east coast through Scarbrough, Newcastle to Berwick-upon-tweed before crossing on Hadrian’s wall to Carlisle.
Downhill from there… past the subs in Barrow, Blackpool for some rock and Liverpool. Sharp right then through North Wales and Holyhead and many unpronounceable Welsh villages before freewheeling down to Penzance and the south cost, which I hear is totally flat.
Folkestone, Margate, into London and Battersea for a pit stop. Back out through Essex, beautiful Suffolk and east anglia before the last leg back to Nottinghamshire.
Who knows how long it will take, what I’ll see and learn and who I’ll meet along the way. That’s the joy of adventure isn’t it…
Right early to bed and roll on tomorrow (I think).

I’m going on a bear hunt…

If you are of a similar vintage to me and have children or been about them, you’ll probably remember the children’s book by Michael Rosen with the infamous chorus “we’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to find a big one, we’re not scared. It’s a beautiful day”….

So I have just turned 47 and decided to go on a bear hunt too! Yes its planned to be a big one, I’m not scared, I am petrified… but i do believe that when we wake up in a new day (and before we look out of the window to judge the weather, or cringe with those first thoughts about how we think, the day will unfold) that it IS a beautiful day.

On Monday (5th October) I am definitely…. well assuming the storms pass, the rain stops and everything in my life is perfect am setting off on a journey, in fact let’s call it an adventure from now…around the UK on my bicycle. WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING…. My bike is not a touring bike; I’m far from fit and my sparrows kneecaps and legs resemble a chess players not a grande tourer; I am not really sure where I’m going, in fact where i’m allowed to go and where i expect to be every night. I have a great job with loads of prospects and, where my self confidence is regrowing i’ll be on my own and to be honest i’ve never really liked my own company much. Oh and then there’s COVID, local lockdowns and the fact its getting damned cold…but you know what, I can’t wait.

I guess that’s a bit selfish of me, but I need to do this for so many reasons…And after all the family who went on the bear hunt had no idea what lied ahead either, they just knew that when they woke up that morning (a beautiful day) that the day was theirs.

My preparation has been terrible. I came up with this ridiculous idea 2 weeks ago and had planned to go last week but, the bicycle gods we’re watching over me. I knew my bike wasn’t perfect but on my first ride around the sodden country roads and villages where we live, the gears slipped under any power and believe me, current power is pretty low, or up any hills, in fact they are hardly hills in comparison to some of the gradients i’m going to look up to on my adventure. My bike visited 2 bike shops for a check-up and likely treatment. Let’s not mention the first though they did refund me which was kind (I wonder how often you’ll pick up on my sarcasm over the coming months). I called a friend, a friend who’s done many adventures like this one. Voltz bikes near Mansfield. The place was small, discrete and smelt of oil, this was promising. I met Ryan who took notice in what i was doing to ensure i’d make it and as soon as he put my bike on his stand he saw the chain was stretched and would test for other problems. “When were you meant to be going” he asked, “Tomorrow” i said as he raised his eyebrows. “Lets see what we can do” and I left with a warm feeling my bike was in the right hands. Two days later Ryan called “Have you got your lycra on, its running like a dream”. Thirty quid spent and Ryan even threw me one of his own brand T-shirts which i’ll talk about later on. 

What can I say. This act of kindness from Ryan and his team at Voltz Cycles reinstalled my confidence in the fact that this journey was possible and is going to be alright….

I’m going on bear hunt….

If you are of a similar vintage to me and have children or been about them, you’ll probably remember the children’s book by Michael Rosen with the infamous chorus “we’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going to find a big one, we’re not scared. It’s a beautiful day”….

So I have just turned 47 and decided to go on a bear hunt too! Yes its planned to be a big one, I’m not scared, I am petrified… but i do believe that when we wake up in a new day (and before we look out of the window to judge the weather, or cringe with those first thoughts about how we think, the day will unfold) that it IS a beautiful day.

On Monday (5th October) I am definitely…. well assuming the storms pass, the rain stops and everything in my life is perfect am setting off on a journey, in fact let’s call it an adventure from now…around the UK on my bicycle. WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING…. My bike is not a touring bike; I’m far from fit and my sparrows kneecaps and legs resemble a chess players not a grande tourer; I am not really sure where I’m going, in fact where i’m allowed to go and where i expect to be every night. I have a great job with loads of prospects and, where my self confidence is regrowing i’ll be on my own and to be honest i’ve never really liked my own company much. Oh and then there’s COVID, local lockdowns and the fact its getting damned cold…but you know what, I can’t wait.

I guess that’s a bit selfish of me, but I need to do this for so many reasons…And after all the family who went on the bear hunt had no idea what lied ahead either, they just knew that when they woke up that morning (a beautiful day) that the day was theirs.

My preparation has been terrible. I came up with this ridiculous idea 2 weeks ago and had planned to go last week but, the bicycle gods we’re watching over me. I knew my bike wasn’t perfect but on my first ride around the sodden country roads and villages where we live, the gears slipped under any power and believe me, current power is pretty low, or up any hills, in fact they are hardly hills in comparison to some of the gradients i’m going to look up to on my adventure. My bike visited 2 bike shops for a check-up and likely treatment. Let’s not mention the first though they did refund me which was kind (I wonder how often you’ll pick up on my sarcasm over the coming months). I called a friend, a friend who’s done many adventures like this one. Voltz bikes near Mansfield. The place was small, discrete and smelt of oil, this was promising. I met Ryan who took notice in what i was doing to ensure i’d make it and as soon as he put my bike on his stand he saw the chain was stretched and would test for other problems. “When were you meant to be going” he asked, “Tomorrow” i said as he raised his eyebrows. “Lets see what we can do” and I left with a warm feeling my bike was in the right hands. Two days later Ryan called “Have you got your lycra on, its running like a dream”. Thirty quid spent and Ryan even threw me one of his own brand T-shirts which i’ll talk about later on.

What can I say. This act of kindness from Ryan and his team at Voltz Cycles reinstalled my confidence in the fact that this journey was possible and is going to be alright….