Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 5 - Thursday: LANDS END

Ok, we're here!!

Another long, sunny day of West Country cycling, ending with the group rolling down into Lands End at sunset. Very happy to be here but also sorry it's all over. A great week with a great bunch of people.

Thanks go to my fantastic team-mates, and to everyone who has supported this ride with sponsorship, practical help or freebies. Special mention goes to Keith and Pauline for putting up 9 grubby cyclists on Tuesday night, Jan and David for bringing us pasta and cold beer en-route, and Marek's uncle for supplying TONS of food from his restaurant (plug: Luigi's in Arnold!) to keep us fed for the first two days on the road.

So, Andy - about that London to Istanbul trip...

Photos are in reverse order this time:


Rolling down the hill towards Lands End at sunset. Amazing.

St. Michael's Mount, halfway through a picturesque final leg

Phil patents new cooling device en-route

The long, straight road to Crowdy Reservoir

Van Tetris

Inside the belly of the beast: the back of the van/laundry after 4 days on the road

Final day cycling breakfast

Morning sunshine to start our last day

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 4 - Wednesday: HEAT.

Shrewsbury to Taunton today.

Back in Scotland we longed for heat and dryness, now we have both. Today was all about powerful heat, cloudless skies and the increasingly slick nature of our 18-legged relay cycling operation. Life has been distilled to a simple mix of eating, drinking, camping and riding bikes. Add a growing sleep-debt into that picture and you can imagine our trance-like state. It feels like we're going feral and will have to relearn how to use cutlery and sleep in beds.

Anyway, another good day, ending with spag bol and cold beers courtesy of Andy's parents-in-law, Jan and David. Some nice early-evening riding in Somerset too. Here are some pics:

Evening riding in Somerset

Somerset apples: cider in the making

Arms as sticky graveyards for insects

Camp JOGLE set-up, penultimate night

After dinner round the campfire

Day 3 - Tuesday: winter to summer in an afternoon

Today saw us finally shake off the pounding rain of the mountains and join the summer that most of England has been having. The roads are flatter too. HAPPY CYCLISTS.

So, some pics:

6.15am, first leg of the day, Carlisle to Penrith

Marek as orange dot on the horizon

Roadside laundry

Being fed and looked after by Dave R's lovely dad and stepmum (thanks Keith and Pauline)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 3 and selection of pics

"here comes the sun"

2 days of miserable weather and thank the lord things are improving weather wise. Barry and I were treated to a great (dry) ride at the ungodly hour of 6am from just outside of Carlisle to Penrith taking in some rather pretty Cumbrian (edge of lake district) countryside.

Our 2nd ride saw us navigate (a little tricky) our way through Preston (in the sun), over dressed a little due to the changing conditions we ended up stripping off on a car park basked in sunshine to enjoy a sit down and a drink on warm tarmac... Wow now this is what I call summer!

Carrbridge south of Inverness

Two picturesque towns in Scotland. We passed through Carrbridge on our 2nd ride of the first day.

Day 2 - Monday: Aviemore to Carlisle

This post is a day late because yesterday (Monday) was so full-on. Between us,16 hours of being lashed by the elements, cursing the wind, rain and cold through gritted teeth.

Weather has been the biggest challenge, one way and another - making the riding tougher and filling up the vehicles with dripping lycra that never gets to properly dry out.

But we're still having fun, even if the laughter sometimes has a hysterical edge. We're also more well-drilled,and getting into a routine with changeovers, setting up camp and whatnot.


Morning: car park yoga, near Aviemore

The Daves pick out new outfits at the Gentlemens Country Clothing Hall

Evening: crossing the border at Gretna