After the disastrous day we had yesterday we treated ourselves to a luxurious lie in until 7am this morning. I had to shoot off back to Linz to get my wonky wheel fixed whilst Zoltan took the time to chill a bit and chat with an Australian family who had been cycling for nine months with four kids. The Father was carrying three kids and packs weighing over 150kg, putting our own trip into perspective. Respect!
If you want to find out more about The Castle's journey to becoming a more sustainable business, you might want to look through our archived Sustainable Castle blog. This dates back to when we first embarked on the project in 2008. I've copied over all the entries from 2012 onwards, but some gems that haven't been transfered to this new blog (yet) are:
This day turned out to be a bit of a bummer (again), and seemingly the low point of the trip.
My fantastic navigation this time took us up into another forest and this time we lost any sign of a trail. In the process my long suffering bike/ girlfriend for the trip (Geraldine) decided to break a spoke and bend a wheel. Limping into Wurzburg we wasted a lot of time getting the wheel trued.
Before we start writing today's entry we wanted to round up the lessons we've learnt so far. this is. Apart from the whole navigation thing, and forward planning when it comes to accommodation, we've learnt some other stuff that might have made the journey slightly easier so far:
We're in Bonn at the moment (16th) so here's our post for the last few days.
Monday 15th July
Brussels-Aachen: Time cycling - 7 hours. Distance - 132km
After having spent two days with little sleep, our hostel beds were perfect and woke up feeling recharged and excited for the day. We’d learnt something from our previous mistakes, so before we left Brussels we booked a campsite in Aachen. Giving us both somewhere to aim for and a definite place to sleep.
So this day found us in a mad rush to get everything ready. It also found Zoltan at the Hungarian embassy waiting for his emergency passport. A story still too raw to go into suffice to say Zoltan and I are still friends. So having packed and had a couple of good luck drinks at the Brownswood, we were set.
Zoltan & I (Jack) both work in the Castle Café. We both have an interest in cycling and have both worked with bikes – myself as a courier and Zoltan delivering lunches to offices in central London.
Zoltan who is from Hungary had for a while been considering cycling home and when this was mentioned to me over a game of pool, the idea for a trip was born.The trip for us started out as more of a fitness challenge and as a means of getting home. But it has evolved into something more.
On Sunday, 7th of July in collaboration with the London Wildlife Trust, we will be doing a clear up of the New River (on foot or in a little boat!) ending with music and beer at the other end! Join us to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the New River.
Our gas supply contract came up for renewal this year, so I took this opportunity to research what the most environmentally friendly option would be. Natural gas is a fossil fuel; a non-renewable resource. Sourcing and using this responsibly goes right to the heart of our environmental policy.