Day 25 we packed up our things for an internet and phone free week of cycling in the peak district. The process of getting ready for a holiday is notoriously stressful in our household so we allowed ourselves the most time possible to prepare ahead and on the day. We didn’t leave until 3pm and it was fairly stress free, this is almost unheard of!
Feeling very proud we set off, E and M prepped for an in car nap, roof box and boot full and bike rack suspended on our boot. Within minutes of getting on the M1, at 60ish MPH, our stress levels rocketed as the bike rack bent (faulty it would seem) and our bikes crashed to the ground still attached to our car, stranding us in the middle lane of the M1. A stayed very calm (a star!), E and M had just gone to sleep so were deep in slumber while I looked in the rear view mirror in total panic (imagining the death of my family) as car after car braked and swerved around us, almost hitting us as we sat there unsure of the safest way to proceed. Hazards lights on we slowly dragged bike rack and bikes across the M1 to the hard shoulder. We grabbed our now confused and scared children from the safest side of the car (for the first time I was faced with the previously thought of and dreaded decision as to which child you remove first from impending danger) and climbed the barrier. Typically I was wearing my best pair of boots (only worn twice to keep pristine) with a heal (almost unheard of for me), standing up was almost impossible in the motorway side muck, I resigned to standing on the bars of a drain. E and M were very upset, A and I were shaken, so I decided now would be a good time for a really random act of wildness, so we looked for pictures in the clouds (we also looked for lorries which there were plenty of!).
We stood there for an hour, terrified 3 year olds in arms before we were rescued simultaneously by roadside assist and highways (also stars!). 9 (should have been 2.5) hours after leaving home we arrived in the peak district safely. It could have turned out very differently that day and I am so thankful that no one was hurt.