Job Done

Posted: July 15, 2013 in charity, COPD, Cycling, Rant, Travel
Tags: , , , , ,

First and foremost, let me express my heartfelt thanks to all those that supported me through my 550 Mile Cycle Challenge. To all those who supported me through donations via my Just_Giving page I would like to say a big Thank You: both the charities (End Polio Now & Bruce Trust Barges) and I genuinely appreciate it. For those who supported me during my training and the event itself, I also say Thank You: without you, I wouldn’t have been able to make it.

I’m not to going to make out it was easy because it wasn’t. In fact it was harder than I thought it would be. The combination of daily long distances, temperatures as high as 105f and a worsening of COPD did take its toll. But there are others worse off than me, which is why I take on, and complete these challenges.

While I will write a more comprehensive account of each day, this is just a brief recount.

We left Hungerford at the allotted time (mid-day) to head for the Ferry Terminal in Portsmouth where we were to encounter our first challenge of getting 6 bicycles and 7 passengers into a 2-berth camper van along with all the associated luggage and provisions including 18 Kilo’s of Bananas(!). One big problem was that the cycle rack on the van was only designed for three bikes, but with the aid of numerous zip ties, we were able to extend the rack’s capacity to 6 . I’m not sure if we could have taken to the public highway, but for boarding a ferry, it was ideal.

2013-07-07 20.08.00

Each day thereafter brought with it, its own challenges, low points and high points. The challenges, in the main, were distances and hills combined with high temperatures. The highpoint, for us all, was the reception we received from Hungerford’s Twin Town of Ligueil: they certainly know how to lay on a barbeque and their hospitality was second to none. The low point? It has to be me being taken out by a stupid driver who clearly wasn’t yet awake. As I was navigation round a roundabout, using the well marked cycle lane, a Renault 4 failed to spot me (a great big overweight cyclists in garish cycle clothes on a garish Colnago) a turned off the roundabout taking me with it. I was only bruised and winded but with a dented pride I just lay there gathering my thoughts before getting back up and continuing with my journey.

All too soon however, the ride was over and we headed back to England and Hungerford to a fantastic welcoming committee laid on by the local Rotarians and Bruce Trust Barges plus many more well wishers, all of whom plied us with drink and cakes (I think there was sandwiches as well). And then, it was over: we all dispersed and went home to rest and then rest some more.

Now the planning starts for next years ride……

Must Stop Cycling: Must Stop Cycling. . . .

Go Podge, Go

www.justgiving.com/kevin-stirzaker

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