Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Day 102 Gravesend, UK

With our flight at 8.30pm we had to be at the airport at 5.30pm and so we busied ourselves packing most of the morning and having breakfast with Howard until Sarah met us at 3pm. We had arranged with Sarah to give us a hand to the airport as it was a good walk and sky train ride away. Sarah pushed my bike while Kris and I carried the bike boxes to King Edward sky train station. Sarah and I waited with the gear while Kris run back to the house to push his bike back to the station. We had loosened the pedals so they were not able to be ridden.

At the station we took turns to manoeuvre the bikes and huge boxes down the 2 elevators and across the station to the platform which thankfully was not too busy. When the trained arrived Sarah threw the boxes on and Kris and I wheeled the boxes on taking up three carriages. After a half an hour ride we arrived at the Vancouver International airport and in a similar fashion we launched the boxes off the train and got the bikes off just in time.

Another relay in the elevator we arrived in departures and said farewell to Sarah, thanks for your help, it would have been a nightmare without you! We began to disassemble the bikes and pack them in the boxes however as the boxes were so huge we only had to remove the pedals and turn the handle bars. We used all the tape we had sealing the boxes and carried them through to check in. This did not go too smoothly as the boxes were too big to go down the conveyor belt even in the oversized baggage area! We had to wait half hour for the ramp guys from British Airways to come and inspect the bikes which meant removing them from the boxes again. There was also some confusion as to whether the boxes would even fit in the containers that get put on the plane!
Eventually they were cleared for take off and we watched them get dragged away. We waited an hour or so before the flight which was half hour delayed. The nine hour flight went quite quick what with Kris having a few whiskeys, watching a few movies and sleeping a few hours. On arrival at Heathrow we collected the bikes but Kris’s box looked as though it had been used as a punch bag so we removed the bikes from the boxes to assess any damage and thankfully there was none.
My mum and Aunty Jill had come to meet us with a trailer in tow to load up the bikes. We made it back home safe and sound and where mum had said she had stocked our cupboards with a few bare essentials! So that’s another trip all done and dusted and our minds are ticking over ideas for the next great adventure! Thanks to everybody that made our trip such an amazing experience


  1. were you guys on some kind of Nutella fast while visiting the U.S.? It is available here in the good ole U. S. of A!

  2. Funny, Nutella was introduced to us (St. Louis, MO, USA) by an exchange student from France back in 1993. Her parents would include a jar with each "care package". The following year (1994), another exchange student from Germany brought some with her. It started appearing on grocery shelves here later that year. We're hooked on the stuff. All this time I thought it must have been imported from Europe but the label says it's a product of Canada.

  3. Well done, both of you! Russell, mum and I have had fun following you across the miles. We're very proud of you and your fundraising.

  4. Well done Kris & Ali on all your fund raising. Love & kisses from Cornwall. xx

  5. woo hoo hoo...i love nutella...

  6. Hello Kris and Alison,

    We met in Jellystone, remember?

    Well we have been home for 3 months and my mission to contact all those who added something to our trip is only just beginning - very late.

    So sorry for the delay but better late than never!

    After we met you two in Yellowstone, we made it up to Canada just as the weather was getting cold, they had 6" snow in Jasper the week before we arrived. We stayed in the wilderness hostels along the Icefield.

    That last month of our trip through Glacier, the Grand Tetons, Waterton Lakes NPs and up the Icefield Parkway to Jasper was the best riding of the whole trip, just fabulous scenery. The hills were high but not too difficult. Not as hard as Virginia.I've had a look at your blog to get an idea of the rest of your trip and it seems as though it went very well. We visited the San Juans and Vancouver Island a few years ago and liked it loads.

    Did you manage to get your trip organised to the New Forest? Let us know if you want to come this year. You'll be welcome.

    Take care.

    Mick and Julie

  7. P.S.
    I've tried the emails you gave us but they seem to be lapsed