Dispatch from the Road: Keeping it Short

One good thing about traveling is that it disabuses you of certain stereotypes and misconceptions.  For example, like most people, I always thought England was just a quaint nation of slow-moving, overly polite tea-slurpers whose biggest source of anxiety is gardening and who solve mysteries in their ample leisure time.  As it turns out though, this isn't true, and indeed life moves very quickly here.  For example, just yesterday at the Brooks factory, Eric "The Chamferer" Murray deftly whipped me up a saddle in a matter of minutes:

Just a few hours later it was on my bike:

And no sooner than this morning I was breaking it in via liberal application of rain, mud, and posterior sweat in the countryside outside of London:

My guide was Jack Thurston of The Bike Show, who was kind enough to indulge my sluggishness.  See, some mornings your legs feel like they came from the "Serious Crisps" box, and other mornings they feel like they came from the "Funny Crisps" box:

This was definitely a "Funny Crisps" morning:

Indeed, as they say around these parts, I felt like I was "Up Fuckfield Lane," but that's only because I was:

By the way, if you look closely, you'll notice someone has indeed etched the missing "F" in the grime on the sign:

I can assure you it wasn't me, but I can't assure you I wouldn't have embellished it had I remembered to carry a Sharpie.

Despite the heavy legs I enjoyed the ride tremendously, and I got to see all manner of English countryside porn, including but not limited to thatched-roof cottages, really old pubs, nonplussed livestock, rich people in Land Rovers, and of course a bush shaped like a dog's head:

Then, in high non-"epic" style, we took the train back to London:

London's streets are confusing for an out-of-towner, and they're doubly confusing for a stupid out-of-towner, and the latter is the category into which I fall.  Nevertheless, I had it pretty much figured out how to get back to my hotel--until I ran into this gigantic protest march:

I think it was either an #Occupy march, or else they were fed up with their free healthcare, but either way the street closure forced me to revise my route and it ultimately took me something like 19 hours to travel three-quarters of a mile.

In any case, at 5:30pm local time I will be at Look Mum No Hands!

If you're in the neighborhood I hope you will join me.
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