Cycling with Wesley the Kraken


No journey is compleet without a cowfie

“Ehhhh…” I take a deep breath while Googlemaps is doing everything it shouldn’t do. A raindrop falls from my helmet on top of my phone creating even more chaos. Outside it’s raining heavy but the crappy old phone booth is keeping me dry for know. I’m looking at some old ads and the spider webs spun around the instructions. “How in God’s name are they going to catch a fly here?” goes through my mind. For almost two hours I’ve been trying to find a way out of Bridgewater and follow bike trail 42. It turns out this trail is very hard to find. Tonight I will arrive in Bristol, but I haven’t found a sleeping place yet. I’m looking outside the dirty phone booth window and boldly decide to bike north. “Fuck you all!” and while I say that I’m thinking of a scene of a movie in which the main character smashes the window of a phone booth. 

Four hours later I can almost scream out loud from enjoyment and adrenaline; going around 45 kilometers per hour I’m thundering into Bristol meeting up with friends of friends. Cars are passing me by, 90s gabber house by Buzz Fuzz is pumping through my earphones and I’m 200% focused on the bumps in the road. I feel great! An adventurous travel can be filled to the max with emotions. From -100 to +100 in only 4 hours. And this with 160bpm! 


“Evolution of a bike”.
Look at me going on my new rusty steed. I’ve called him Wesley the Kraken, after the house he came from. “Wesley, what am I going to do with you? First I shall have to prepare you for the long trail that lies ahead of us”. That meant a trip to the local bike repair man to see if I can score a carrier. The local bike repair man shop was closed. It seems he also is in need of a holiday. The next shop’s in Okehampton some 30 kilometers further. It closes at 17:00 hours and it was 14:00 hours at the moment. This can be done! To get some extra energy I ate some melted Snickers, buckled some 20 kilos of home on my back and grasped Wesley’s steering wheel firmly with both hands. I didn’t know it was going to be 30 kilometers uphill and as soon as I arrived one hour after closing time I immediately looked for a spot to set up my tent. 


It was already lying there waiting for me in a little storeroom. Damaged, a bit bend and the black paint was flaking. Of course this couldn’t be sold to anyone, so it was perfect for my awesome bike adventure. This bike shop only sold high quality stuff, so for a fiver I could have it. Thinking about it later on I maybe could have swapped it for my rear fender. It had to go anyway. Just out of town the my McGyver instincts took control. With the laces of my skates, the extra guy-line of my tent and my walking sticks I created a beautiful construction, that didn’t only relieve my back, but also made sure I could sit pain free for the coming future. I love it when a plan comes together. 



It didn’t take long before I found me some cycle bags and traded the laces in for some tie rips. Wesley swiftly changed dramatically, just like I did. After camping a night at Edward’s place, who lived in a caravan in the woods, I was all set for a new adventure. I noticed I was a lot more relaxed than a week before and I saw possibilities instead of obstacles. The entire country was lying at my feet and I could go everywhere I wanted. But first to Bristol to have a lazy day and to make a new schedule. After arriving at the place of Facebook-friends of Facebook-friends it was time for English tea, stew, reflection, goofing around and making plans. So awesome that Sadie and Brechje opened their house for a stranger. Even worse, someone that was carrying a heavy odour of adventure. This was the new beginning of my adventure. A new beginning of a different way of travelling. An easier way, but still adventurous. I feel good on my bike and while I’m biking I notice my thoughts are wondering off. That’s a good sign and one of the reasons I’m making these kinds of trips. In the ‘normal’ life I’m always busy working, social gatherings, entertainment and going out. It is sometimes difficult to find time for myself, and when I finally find time, I fill it with watching series, Facebooking, watching movies and reading. Time to stare out of the window or letting my thoughts wonder off, I just don’t do often enough. I think many people know what I’m talking about. By going on this kind of journeys I give myself the space to think about things I normally don’t take the time to think about. I let my thoughts go out into the wild, giving me new and very valuable insights. 


From Bristol I can see the new adventure lying straight in front of me. Wales. Just have to cross a bridge and I’m entering a new country. A country with beautiful national parks, a new language and loads of myths and legends. – foto brug- Like the ‘Druid stones of Gaerllwyd’. An old burial site of druids. I didn’t know what to expect; no one knew where it exactly was and how to get there. It was surrounded by mystery. After searching for an hour I finally found them…a bunch of stones. Ok. Fun. A big bunch of stones.


The new adventure is lying right in front of me; Wales. The hills are surrounded with dark clouds and half grown with thick pinewoods. Little zigzagging roads are passing through area’s with names like The Black Mountains, Snowdonia and Mynydd Eppynt while tiny towns like Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mocgnant and Pontrhydfendigiad can only expand your scope of fantasy. For a week me and Wesley are going to search for stories and sleep in the oldest fashion there is; outdoors where the birds and sun function as an alarm clock.


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