I should explain that while I have over the last two years commuted regularly on bikes be they Boris, Brompton or road, I am a complete beginner when it comes to cycle touring.
Some slight experience was had in a 2010 London-to-Brighton sponsored ride which took me 10 hours, and included three flat tires before i'd left the M25, a slipped chain and eventually a complete breakdown of the bike meaning I entered Brighton on what felt like an undersized girls clown bike kindly lent to me by the race mechanics. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of my abilities...
Nonetheless the first day's ride despite the early morning delays was nothing short of a delight. A watery sun pierced the late morning fog and glimmered of the Tyne forcing me to ride along singing cliche's happily.