Tuesday, 24 July 2012

6853 miles later...

The scores are in, and the team's total mileage has been calculated as 6853 miles.

As we're on trip stats, the next figure is total punctures- 16 in total, 10 from one sorry individual. We're good at fixing them now.

A quick run down on the days we skipped over on the last blog post...

Day 18: Worcester to Bristol, 65 miles

We were joined by Ryan Day, making our group a total of 8- looks impressive on the roadside, bit difficult at roundbouts! First stop was in Gloucester, with its very pretty cathedral (good hot chocolate!). We walked down the Harry Potter corridor, another highlight of the day.

Gloucester Cathedral
Morning was wet, but the weather improved to a sunny afternoon, interspersed with 2 more punctures for Anna. Punctures make for regular off bike breaks, we've come to actually enjoy them.

A quick shout out from Team Pink, with love to Grandpops!
We arrived into Bristol at the relatively early time of 5.30, staying with some old friends, the Chavasse family. Bill and Ginnie provided us a wonderful warm reception and warm dinner, and an abundantly generous reception- yet again, we were bowled over.
The wonderful Chavasses- Bill and Ginnie- in Bristol

Day 19: Bristol to Okehampton, 113 miles
We managed to get out of Bristol at about 8.30am cycling over the famous and spectacular Clifton suspension bridge. A relatively decent start to what would turn out to be our DAY FROM HELL.

First, we took a shortcut down a track after being assured by a local man that it was bike worthy. The said track can best be described as a swamp. Wading ankle deep through murky, giant puddles, we eventually dragged ourselves onto a decent road, with a sense of achievement equal to that felt by people reaching the summit of Everest.

Having survived the perils of Devon's wilder regions, we continued south, dodging a horse that decided to try and kick Cammy in the head. It missed, thankfully.

This was also the day that Anna attempted to break the world record for the most punctures in 2 weeks. Today there were 3, taking her total to 10. Ryan's bike also tried to shed one of it's pedal cranks, forcing us to leave him in a village in the middle of Devon.

As Greg Treloar put it while on the phone at 11pm while cyclig "I think I can see light, but I 'd better go, because I'm going downhill, and my brakes aren't great."
Late night arrival in Okehampton

The saving grace of this day was, without a doubt, our friend Dom Roche-Saunders, a seaoned cyclist of Rome-Medjugore-Walsingham fame, who drove a round trip from Barnstaple to Okehampton to Exeter to cook us dinner and put up our tents, a very welcome sight when we finally arrived after 11pm. God bless Dom!

Day 20: Okehampton to St Just's in Penwith, 95 miles
This day had a sad start- our 16 year old hero (and after ten days on the road, our good friend) Cammy, succumbed to a knee problem that had been bothering him for the best part of the trip, and took a train home. We miss you, Cammy! And well done.

Team Scotland, without Cammy... It's not quite the same... :-)

We left late, after our very late night the day before, and didn't have the option of taking any scenic detours- the greater part of the day was a long, boring slog down the A30. Some lovely views, and the first sights of sea coming over Bodmin Moor. Our speed picked up, and our breaks shortened- we were all focused on getting to our destination.

An arty bike rack shot. Such a hectic day, we didn't even pause for posing.
When we got in to St Just's at 9pm, we had a bit of drama actually finding the hostel- if getting lost at the bottom of a steep hill in the dark and freezing cold after 95 miles doesn't break you, maybe nothing will! But we all eventually settled into a fish and chips dinner at the hostel, with a few celebratory drinks. With just 5 miles to go, we think we'll be forgiven for prematurely saying we had made it to Land's End!

So there you have it- a complete diary of our To Land's End adventures, not neccessarily in the right order! Thanks very much for reading. And if you haven't sponsored us yet and would like to do so, please follow the link at the top of the page- the cyclists, and our charities, would be very grateful.

The compulsory To Land's End 2012 Bike Trip Awards will appear over the next few days... keep a look out.

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