20 August 2009
Well I am now back at work after being off for nearly a month & nothing changes!! It just all seems a distant memory, good memories though!!. I hadn't mentioned it on here, but good news. We were cycling along the A49 somewhere in Lancaster, when I heard a girl scream & I looked behind to see Kev throwing his bike on the floor & calling for me running into a hedge. (Not a girl, but Kev...... must have been saddle sore??). I went back & he had seen a car in a ditch that had clearly just gone off the road it had a lone female occupant who was unconscious & trapped in the rather mangled car. She had an obvious serious head injury & amongst us we dealt with it until the local Plod, Ambulance & Trumpton arrived........ Sandra you were magnificent!! The good news is the victim is going to be OK, she apparently was touch & go for a while, but so the locals tell us she is now on the road to recovery. It did mean we spent a few hours in the driving rain & cold there... hey-ho I've had worse days at work & I haven't got to go & do the call that all Policeman dread & break the awful news that someone has died (we are human after all?!)
There are a number of awards that need to be mentioned here. We didn't have a King of the Mountains we had a Queen (no, not Kev!!)
Queen of the Mountains Sandra Rutherford
Yellow Jersey Chris Stoodley
Most whinging tosspot Kev Parks
Person least prepared Kev Parks
Person who moaned the most Kev Parks
Best crash Trevor Barnes
Best spleen ranting Kev Parks
Best admission of daftness Chris Stoodley
Some of these need to be explained. Chris & I were cycling at the front of the group in Bristol, when a bus pulled out & clipped Chris who shouted at the driver to stop, he did & apologised. Kev the for some unknown reason (probably as he couldn't catch the original bus as he was soooooooooo far behind) rented his spleen at the bus behind??
Chris fell off twice, once in Bristol on the climb to the airport where he has no idea what happened, one minute he was going up the hill & the next he was lying on the verge & he has no idea how he got there!!! The other time was in Scotland when he couldn't unclip his feet from the SPD pedals!
Sandra fell off once when her chain came off, but the best 'Torvil & Dean' moment goes to Trevor just outside Gloucester when at about 3 mph his mobile phone rang. Neal our wheelman describes it as like watching a triple jumper & after his hop, skip & jump it was goodnight Vienna, he ended up lying there like a turtle on his back, legs & arms flapping in the air......10/10 for presentation & 10/10 for execution....!!
Chris does warrant special mention. He is off on leave for all of August & never actually asked me the dates of the ride. A few weeks beforehand he did. I told him we finished in John O'Groats on the 16th. No problem, anyway 15 mins later he rang me back to say he had a problem as on the 17th he was on the 12.30pm ferry from Dover for his family holiday. On day 11, when we covered 75 miles, he pressed onto the end & cycled an incredible 155 miles........... Chris Chapeau as they say in France..... awesome & yes dear reader he made the ferry & I trust he is now having a well deserved baguette & bottle of Vin Rouge!!
I have been asked if I would do it again......... yes I probably would. I love the feeling of cycling along through magnificent countryside with the sun on my face & the wind on my back...... the first 5 days were fantastic, alas it then poured down & we had strong head winds & I am yet to see Glencoe & to be honest most of Scotland in sunshine!!
19 August 2009
You don't realise how far John O'Groats is from London until you have to drive it! (nearly 800 miles). Anyway I am now finally home & on reflection enjoyed the last 2 weeks...... will I do it again next year............we'll have to wait & see (I may drive a support car, I haven't decided yet!). The total distance was 915.33 miles which equated to 76.2 miles a day. You did tend to get used to being in the saddle, but I was glad to finish.
14 August 2009
Just to let you know we are all OK are now in Fort William. Premier Inn's have a new trick up their sleeves & now block bluetooth dongles so you have to use their wifi at £5 an hour; or in my case not!!
We are pushing on today to Fort Augustus & stopping there before coming back to the hotel. It has poured down with rain on us & going over Glencoe was cold, wet & miserable.
I shall try my dongle again tonight, but if I get no joy then the pictures will have to wait for the end of the ride??
Only 2 days left to go now!!
7 August 2009
Day 2 was truly miserable, I have never suffered as much as I did yesterday. We all felt the same, clearly Jesus or God were not cyclists or they would never had made Devon!!
The misery of Dartmoor isn't really explained in this picture!!
We left the hills of Devon behind us & made our way to Bristol. There were some fast flat roads where we made good progress. I had 4 bloody punctures within a few miles & I was not impressed!!
Day 2 was easy by comparison!!
The internet is a bit hit & miss, my bluetooth dongle doesn't work to well, so I shall update this every other day & the pictures will have to wait until the end!!
Off to Worcester tomorrow........... keep reading!!