Wednesday, 10 September 2008
We were shocked to realise just how many people had been following our progress on the blog whilst we were away, thanks for your interest and support.
We're just £400 short of the target now. Admitadly that was the target for four of us, but were not the kind of people to back down so we're trying to reach the big £2000.
If you can help please sponsor us online at www.justgiving.com/bikingforbreastcancer, or if you know us personally then cash donations can be made in one of our many tins!
Posted by Voice at 17:27
Friday, 29 August 2008
The day started with a big breakfast, and we ended up leaving at 1030 by the time everything was packed up. It seemed to take ages to get to Truro, but was actually fairly good pace given the hills. We had a quick snack at 'playing place' which kept us going til lunch at Ashton. Then, at 1700, after a killer last few miles, we crossed the finish line and somehow forgot the pain! Our entrance was announced on the tannoy and we were applauded and mobbed with donations, which was nice! We had our photo taken at the sign, surrounded by people asking about our trip. One lady thought it was outrageous we had to pay £10 for our photo and so she paid for us! The occasion was toasted with some champagne Rich had bought us, nice touch Rich, and then we had to cycle the 10 miles back to the hostel at Penzance. We did it guys, thanks for your support and sponsorship, we'll get a finish line pic on here as soon as possible... Now for a relaxing holiday NOT cycling!
Posted by Voice at 22:33
Thursday, 28 August 2008
... We were getting tired and still hungry so Rich went off ahead to explore and search for more food. Dave and I went for another cycle (how glad will we be when we can do other exciting things, like... walk, or sit on something comfortable, just generally not cycle!). We took a pretty hilly B road, to avoid a different hilly road, everywhere is pretty hilly. We had a few hairy birkinhead-style moments going up a long hill in a narrow contraflow, but other than that it was just exhaustion that started to slow us. We met up with Rich 7 miles from the end for more food and drink, and then eventually reached YHA Golant, at the end of a 1mile driveway! By the time we'd showered the hostel had stopped serving food. We asked Rich what else he'd bought, we should have guessed - CAKE, and for pudding, MORE CAKE! So here's us enjoying our cakey tea... Tomorrow LANDS END.
Posted by Voice at 23:34
Navigating our way out of Exeter was almost as hairy as navigating our way in yesterday! We started off on the A30, fully laden as usual, but then at about 12 our secret weapon arrived... RICH JONES!... to carry all our stuff (not as pictured, though that would be amusing, but in his car!). Suddenly our bikes felt more like superbikes and less like super-tankers! Cycling in the hard shoulder debris resulted in a puncture, and then another soon after. I had ran out of tubes and none were worth repairing so i put in a quick call to our mobile support crew... Rich... gave him our GPS coordinates, and he went off to a bike shop and found us again within half an hour, sorted! The problems did delay us a bit, and we didn't get to our lunch stop until 1530. We had done in excess of 50 miles but not as quickly as we'd hoped...
Posted by Voice at 23:18
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
Dave skipped off to the bike shop early to get some new front brake pads, while i planned the route for today. We eventually got away about 1030, but made strong progress against the wind, having passed bridgewater by about 1210 and carrying on all the way to Cullompton, where we had lunch at about 1500. We left at about 1540, and arrived at the Exeter hostel by about 1715. Thankfully it stayed dry again, and we had no real issues all day! The only eventful section was navigating the Exeter ring road, more bitty cycle paths and lots of traffic. We even had to cart our bikes over a road bridge! 2 more days, we're hoping our secret weapon is going to arrive tomorrow!
Posted by Voice at 18:34
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
We had a nice lay in this morning, Pete did us a cooked breakfast and continued the Turner family hospitality! We set off and crossed the first bridge, catching up with some other end-to-enders due to arrive at LE on Friday as well. They also had a support car!! Most people seem to! We continued south through the grey and boring docklands, eventually finding our way on to the Avon M5 bridge cycle path, which only had one sign about the size of a postage stamp immediately before it. We stopped at Gordano services for lunch and then headed for Cheddar. We picked up some weighty supplies a few miles before the end, making the last few hills even harder. It was surprisingly difficult today, mentally we weren't up for it at all, perhaps not taking the short day too seriously. Oh well, we're here now... 3 more days to go!
Posted by Voice at 23:25
The last 35 miles were really tough. I have never cycled in such a strong head wind as what we experienced today. We're usually cycling into the wind, and it takes 2 or 3mph out of you, this was taking more like 5 or 6! Plus it was pretty hilly! Thankfully we arrived about 1745, to a warm welcome, and great food! Pete's family cooked for us, and made us feel at home! Richie decided to pop across from Reading too, which made the evening even more fun. Much better than another night in a hostel! (with Dave :op ). We've got a nice short one tomorrow so hopefully will rest up a bit for the final push.
Posted by Voice at 00:09
Monday, 25 August 2008
Another beautiful day for cycling, the weather really does make a difference when you haven't got a choice but to go cycling! I woke up dopily wondering what i was doing that day, only to realise it was cycling again! I had a puncture quite early on but no more that day. We covered the first 50 miles quite quickly, and wobbled our way through the last hilly 20, taking the odd picture along the way.
Sunday, 24 August 2008
... Get as close as they can to you without actually touching you, not too entertaining for the cyclist. It's also official, cycle paths are more dangerous than major A roads, the often poor quality surface, hidden entrances to the road, pedestrians and random full height curbs in the middle (one of which had me off in spectacular style yesterday) make them a nightmare. Cycle lanes in the road are MUCH better. Anyway, it was all going so well, and we'd intended to take a bridge, however the satnav, in bicycle mode, directed us down the Birkinhead tunnel, by then it was too late to turn back so we had to just go nuts. That had to be the scariest and fastest mile and a half cycling of our lives! Thankfully we emerged safely, took a breather, and found our way to Chester- home of hollyoaks and the 'phantom cone placer'. We arrived at the hostel at 1645. It's now morning and we're soon off to Clun.
Posted by Voice at 09:37
Leaving Slaidburn was stupidly hilly again but once we got out toward Preston the roads were a lot flatter, and quicker! We used the satnav to navigate through the city and then ploughed on to Liverpool. We'd decided Liverpool was the simplest and most direct route. A number of people wished us well as we were going through the city, one group of lads on they're way to football were kind enough to point out the general direction of lands end. We were also pulled over by a family saloon, from which a lady emerged full of enthusiasm and donated a few quid. It's fair to say we've already collected ten times more in England than in the whole of Scotland! We did have a few bus-ups... Busses play this game where they overtake you and then stop a few yards in front, which is just stupid because it takes as long as if they'd waited. Another favourite of theirs is to...
Posted by Voice at 09:25
Posted by Voice at 00:20
We were up early to get to the bike shop, we had an all we could eat free breakfast, which was nice! We went in to Ambleside and saw this real wizard of a bike guy who bent my derailleurs back into correct alignment, something not many would have been able to do too easily, particularly as you need a special tool to gauge the rear one properly! We were really grateful because he was stupidly busy but dealt with us as a priority and only charged a few pounds! Without the generosity of such bike shops the trip could have quite easily ended early. We got away about 11:30 after some other bike-related fiddling and having bought a UK map book for 99p, doesn't run out of batteries! The weather was great again and we made good time to Kirkby Lonsdale, where we had a fantastic and very well priced meal in 'the cariad'. After an extended lunch we continued into Yorkshire, which is very hilly and full of sheep!..
Posted by Voice at 00:08