It’s Raining. Oh Yeah, it’s England

PDX pre-flight

I love flying because if I am on a plane, I am usually heading somewhere fun. I hate flying because I hate sitting still.  So I was happy that we had a full row to our selves (all five seats) on our red eye flight to London.  The extra space made doing a little in flight yoga just a bit easier.  It is always a bit disconcerting to have to walk through the first and then business class sections just as they are settling in with their pre-flight beverage as we are herded to the rear of the plane.

There will be no escaping the Olympics in England this summer. Upon landing, seeing all the preparations for the Olympics gave me the chills. It was really cool to be greeted like an Olympic athlete. “Oh, you’re traveling with bikes, are you riding in the Olympics?” Do I look like I am an Olympic cyclist? I don’t think there is a bike touring category in the Olympics this year.

Heathrow

The bikes take their first spill.

Our taxi ride from Heathrow to Portsmouth was far more eventful than our flight.  Warren, our

Warren the taxi driver.

friendly driver looked as though he had not slept in days. Unfortunately, he drove that way as well.  About 10 miles into our journey, I noticed he was violently moving his left leg and that he was  alternating between rubbing is right thigh and pinching the back of his neck. My fear that these actions were attempts to stay awake were realized when I looked over at Warren as his leg began to rumble and noticed his eyes were shut tight just as the van swerved towards the median.  That is when I began to utilize one of my finest skills: the ability to talk non-stop. I fired a question at Warren and when he was done answering, I would ask another. This incessant “small-talk” continued for the remainder of the ride. Once we were dropped off, I asked Warren if he was ok to drive back to London and suggested he at least get a coffee or take a short nap before leaving. I am pretty sure he was glad to be rid of the woman who would not stop talking. I was happy to arrive alive.

JP and the Union Jack

Our lodging is a “cozy” B&B in Southsea whose owner is a tad bit high strung.  She was miffed that our bikes were “so big”, suggesting that they were a safety hazard and kept insisting that she can’t store them at the B&B.  We dumped our stuff into our room and went back downstairs to deal with the bikes and they were gone.  Yes, gone. We later learned that the owner is storing them in her lounge and we will not have access to them until we are ready to leave.  Good thing we weren’t planning on riding this weekend.  The best part is that I chose this B&B specifically because their ads indicate that they have bicycle storage. Just a little more proof of bad information from the intertubes.

We are hanging around Portsmouth for the next few days. JP is immersed in a workshop on land-marking and body composition methodology.  JS is taking in the sights.  On Monday we will head NW to Wales to embark on our journey through the land of castles and dragons.

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