Cycling to John O'Groats-9

30/04/17 "Where You headed to?", I ask the guy who seems to be struggling with his luggage.  "Bonar bridge"  "Cool! Ride safe!"I reply as I realise that out of all the important things I never manage to forget or lose, I've lost the keycard to the dorm room at Youth hostel. Name the place, I've searched it all! Where did I find it? Right besides my bike in the soil after I was done loading my saddle bag. Smartass, ain't I?  Plan is to spend the whole day on saddle but ending up at Tain. Technically I can reach John O'Groats tomorrow. But I wanna explore some more and be at John O'Groats on Molly's birthday which happens to be on the the 3rd of May! I remember her saying that I should head over to Innerleithen for a few shots with her and Gary while on my way back which would be a triple celebration for her birthday, Gary and her anniversary and the end of my trip. I smile to myself thinking that I can celebrate her birthday, thei

Cycling to John O'Groats-8

27/04/17 It's been raining since the moment I started pedalling today. It's nice and cold and mapping my route isn't too far from obvious. There's a surge of positivity in me and I feel like a whole new person from yesterday. Yes, I can do this. Existence doesn't necessarily mean only physical, it can be mental as well. In fact, impact is existence.  'Buck up, kiddo, you're almost there!' .. The stretch of road which is straight is the most boring part of the day and I can only see trees on one side and grass on another. The cows are eating something off it and I wonder if cows ever 'hang out' or 'chill out with friends' without eating grass? Never seen it before. I chuckle at my hilarious imagination of cows smoking weed and discussing human existence.  There's an arch bridge which makes me think that it's gonna be a nice uphill on the other side but I'm disappointed by how subtle it is.  Alright then, bring on some cold wi

Cycling to John O'Groats-7

25/04/17 "60 miles? No big deal. I've done much much more before!" I say to myself as I gear up early in the morning.  This place doesn't offer free breakfast so I leave on a coffee.  As I pick my bike upstairs I realise that the front tyre has deflated. I load the bike and then pump the tyre and make it ready-to-leave before dropping off the keys. I have no idea what's the time but it's freezing and windy.  At 10:15 a.m. I'm 17-20 miles into the ride in the wrong direction. Why? Well, that couple I was talking to while checking directions...they were quite interesting, so we talked and talked and I didn't ask them where they were headed to. Turns out the cross-winds were telling me that it wasn't the right direction for the whole time. No regrets, they were quite cool!  Today's winds or weather have no mercy on this 18 year old kid. My eyes are watering profusely and no, I'm not crying, for the 127th time! Today's weather forecast: E

Cycling to John O'Groats-6

23/04/17 Probably the most interesting day so far! So I leave Tueshielaw inn after the breakfast which I keep halfway and run to my room, smash the toilet door open and throw up whatever I had consumed in probably past 12 hours. I'm so shocked that I stare at the toilet mirror for whole two minutes. What on earth was that? I laugh it off and decide to head off because next destination is really close but I have soooo much fun to have there. I get all my stuff together and the guy at the till is watching my face in horror as I enter the card details real fast. It's a consistent uphill for quite a while. It's a forest on both of my sides. It just gets better with every kilometre. I recall yesterday's incident where I couldn't order my breakfast, stammering, and before that going blank about my order. I am sure laughing at it now but my heart was racing quite bad when it happened. For a bit, I think I've climbed quite much and what I'm seeing ahead of me

Cycling to John O'Groats-5

21/04/17 I read two whole books through the night and I'm exactly sure why they say that "Books are one's best friends". The two ladies in the room can't speak English. They're Chinese and when I do try to speak in Chinese with them(all thanks to google translate) I realise that they're not interested to talk. Well, not the first time someone's saying this to me. I don't have that kind of self respect whatsoever so I'm not even offended. I laugh it out instead as I gear up for the day. At the breakfast table, there's a guy and he's checking my bike out. This makes me so nervous that I eat real fast. He asks me where I'm heading to and what are my plans. Wow, someone wants to talk? why not? I tell him that I'm cycling to John O Groats and he chuckles in disbelief. Without any introduction of himself, he informs me of the cold weather, strong winds and hilly terrain in Scotland. I thank him for the invaluable information and wis

Cycling to John O'Groats 4

18/04/17 So as I begin with the day, I see a hill range across the bay and I absolutely can't wait to get there. I have this surge of excitement that I can't contain. So what do I do? Smile at strangers, greet them and semi-dance to the music blasting in my ears. A friend once told me, "Vedu when everything is going absolutely fine with you, make sure you are the reason someone smiles, if everything isn't going fine, then probably doing the same thing would make your day too". So true! I have found a nice route through those hills and the kinda southern range of mountains in the Lake district National park. I am biking out of the city on A6 quite comfortably when a tractor decides to scare the shit out of me getting my reflexes to push me straight onto the kerb. I land on my arse quite unceremoniously and laugh at my reaction to the tractor for good 5 minutes sitting there eating brownies. The front tyre deflates and I have no clue why that happens every time I

Cycling to John O'Groats-3

16/04/17 I wake up to falling off from the tiny bed and screaming because I have had a nightmare. "You've almost lived a nightmare yesterday, what worse could you even think of?" I say to myself. The breakfast is quite nice and I am all set for the day in no time. The road is pretty nice throughout and I am very happy today. Maybe strangers are wondering why I'm smiling and greeting each one of them or maybe they're just thinking of why my shoes are hanging onto that bag. Everything just seems beautiful today. There's headwind and it's cold and it can rain anytime but none of it affects me. I just take the winds as an opportunity to have the wounds dry and challenge myself on a difficult gear. It's just getting better and better. I am thinking of a good storyline and doing my very own Story-telling shit to myself. I am guided to a cycle route which is a gravel path. Joining A34 later on is a realisation that it's probably