Cycling Across Britain: Day Minus One

Tomorrow, I start my cycle trip across Britain. The trip has already led to some fun surprises, as shown in the picture. It’s from a place I stopped by to pick up “a few bits and bobs” as the Brits would say. The picture shows the inside of a small store called “London Tools.” I love the name. It’s the kind of practical and modest name that’s used around the world. Starting with the word “London” is less modest, sort of how Restoration Hardware was a simple name in an overly posh shop. But, when I walked into London Tools, the feeling of modesty returned, and coziness. 

I also had a strange feeling of going back 40 years. Around that time, I walked into Our Own Hardware the first couple of times, in Holdingford. Of course, I don’t remember many, or any, details of Our Own Hardware at that time, other than a look of concern on Dad’s face that I would cause him more trouble when he couldn’t find me while I explored the isles. Our Own Hardware was a wonder of disorganization. It wasn’t a mess, but it wasn’t tidy either. That’s  just what boy loves, 5 years old or 45. Both boys also enjoy the friendly folks who help in those cozy stores. 

The building that held Our Own Hardware is gone, Dad too. That’s sad stuff, but sadness does make us appreciate life’s little gems a little more. Some folks are still brave enough to run stores like London Tools, or (insert the name of your town here) Tools. I say brave because they are staking their income on the chance they can take away enough people from Home Depot, called Home Base here. 

This isn’t the kind of topic I expected to wander into when describing tomorrow’s bike trip, or is it?

 I do enjoy writing, but I better start to enjoy packing. Here’s the list of things I need to start packing, soon.


Tickets to Tickets from Reservations printouts


Camp Gear

Tent Sleep mat Sleep bag Stove, depressure Pot



Sleep pills Toothpaste Bar soap Ear plugs Rag
Aspirin Toothbrush Deo First aid kit Towel
Cold ease Floss Scissor 1st aid booklet TP
E45 Cream Chapstick      



Gatoraide Fruit?     Granola? Dry milk
Digestives Coffee Spaghetti Spag sauce Breakfast bars? Water purifier
Peanuts  Olive oil  Salt/spice shaker      



  Brillo pad Spork Camping Mug Dish soap
Black clips, to seal bags  Trash bags      


My Goodies

Wind up flashlight & headwear Cigar Wallet
Camelback Blue running watch Travel cd
Credit card backup 2 Lighters  



Swiss army knife Cutlery multi plier Wire
Allen multi-tool First aid kit Puncture repair kit Self lock cord rw&b
Big plastic bag(s) Tire gauge String 2 Bungies
Multi-box wrench Monkey wrench Spokes 2nd bike key



2 pair biking shorts   Karrimor fleece Canoe hat
3 bking shirts Blue hiking trousers Rain Jacket Baseball cap
1 running shirt Hiking socks Rain trousers Sandles
Bike shoes 2 pair briefs Bandana Pick short sleeve shirt
Blue mara shirt 4 pair synth undies   Belt



Bike Gear

Water bottle Biologic battery Gloves Lock, cable, & d-lock
Trouser clip Camelback 4 Panniers New Helmet
Running belt Reflective vest Reflective bands Handlebar bag



    3 LED light
Netbook Camera Battery charger
Netbook power cord Outdoor GPS USB stick
New phone Old phone or radio Standard USB Cable
New phone cable Old phone USB cable 2 Pair clip on headphones
Earbud headphones Old phone audio adapter Memory chips
Batteries, variety Trip Directory in 3 places Muvi cam
Small tripod    

Luck, little humor, not too much.

5 thoughts on “Cycling Across Britain: Day Minus One

  1. That is quite a list of supplies. For heaven’s sake try not to lose anything 😉 I look forward to sharing in your adventure.

  2. Fran,
    I like the name, by blog could be the the un-blog.

    Me, lose something? The real challenges are carrying it all and finidng what I need when I need it. That actually makes losing something here or there kind of helpful. 😎

  3. We have noticed that your supplies for electronics is greater than under any other heading. Hmmmm. Are you planning on doing some geocaching?

  4. What a cool trip! Reminds me of the bike tour that I did with you, Cory, and my parents around St. Paul a few years back! Enjoy your adventure and and I am excited to read all about it!

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