Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Leg 2, Bristol to Portsmouth

Sunday 7th June to Wednesday 10th June, 138.4 miles covered

Finally got on the road again, hoping that the time off and the exercises had done the trick. For a lot of the first day it seemed they had, but after some 20 miles the knee started to play up, until I was walking 2 miles and riding 2 miles alternately. Left me at a pretty low ebb all in all, having made 36 miles in the end. Still, the weather behaved itself which was something!

The next day my knee was throbbing with pain even before I got out of bed. I started off walking up Devizies locks, stopping in Devizes itself to get bread and cheese for lunch. I then actually tried cycling. Not good. Not good at all. Sat down at a country pub, had a couple of pints "from the barrel" and contemplated my options, which seemed to be quit and get public transport, try to heal the knee again or quit the whole thing and look for a job. Decided to head for Pawsey, the nearest rail station after speaking to Helen on the phone. Decided to gurn for a bit to exercise slightly different muscle groups then somehow dropped into using the heel of foot rather than the ball... and this hurt less... I made the 15 miles to Pawsey then out to Wilcot where I stayed at a campsite by a great pub, The Golden Swan. I'd made almost 20 miles...

With my new cycling technique I was able to limp 34 miles the next day, albeit with rests at Woodhenge, Stonehenge (as detailed in the earlier post) and a pub outside of Salisbury where I had a couple of pints of Lemony Cricket. Seemed to do the job.

On the last day of the leg I covered the 48 plus miles to Portsmouth, albeit in shozery rain and with my knee not in any great comfort but I was blowed if I was giving up! Thank goodness for pubs, ideal resting posts and I'm convinced the beer helped with the knee. The 400mg tablets of ibuprofen and the pressure bandage may have helped but mostly I think it was the real ale wot done it.

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