Posts Tagged ‘Hungerford’

Cannes, land of luvvies and beautiful people and, for today only, His Podgeness and The Duchess. Their presence however would not be until after they had breakfasted and planned both today and the next day. For Podge was still struggling and the planned 10-hour trip around Florence & Pisa the next day was going to be too much. They had to re-plan their strategy. Fortunately however, Podge does dabble a little in the dark scary world of Contingency Planning and room for re-scoping had been built into their whole cruising schedule. Podge is wise & clever. Podge still can’t breath though. Poor Podge.

Visits to Florence and Pisa are from the boat park in Livorno (It’s about as near as the Oceana could get). Podge had spotted that as they were doing two back-to-back cruises, they would visit Livorno, sail on to Genoa for cruise end, start new cruise, sail back to Livorno. ‘Bingo” remarked Podge, “We could do the Easy Pisa Tour tomorrow and Easy Florence on the next visit”. Podge really is so, very clever and having exerted all his thinking energy both Podge and Tubbs went for a rest then Breakfast to plan the day’s adventure in Cannes.

Getting to Cannes was going to be different from any of the previous towns. It wasn’t possible to walk into town, nor was is possible to get the bus. The Oceana was way to big to park alongside anything in Cannes so had to anchor offshore (that’s a nautical term not money laundering, I mean management) and as such it would be necessary to take a trip in one of the ships tenders (these are the lifeboats or survival craft) of about 15-minutes right into Cannes herself.

Podge hates tenders

Back in 2004, Boxing Day to be precise, Podge & Tubbs were basking on the shore of a little Caribbean Island called Mayreau having taken the tenor across from the Aurora anchored some 20-minutes away. They noticed that the waters were somewhat more boisterous than usual, so boisterous in fact that one lady was dragged down under the waves and was being dragged out to see before a number of people raced into drag her, literally, back ashore. “I’ve never seen the Caribbean like this before” said Podge. ‘Most unusual’ he thought. As the waters continued with their bad behaviour, Podge & Tubbs decided to get the tender back to the boat. What followed was 30-minutes of extreme discomfort and yes, even fear. The bouncing about on the waves is fine, tenders are designed to do this: it was when the tender tried to tie up next to the Aurora to let every body off and back onto the ship. The tender was going up then down, rolling left then right, and banging against the ship with such force that on one occasion, there was a loud thwack after which there was a definite crack on the upper wall of the tender, not dangerous but most disconcerting. Eventually, we pulled away from the ship and bobbed about for what seemed an eternity while the captain turned the ship to shelter us so that we could all board the Aurora and the safety of the cabin then the bar. Ever since then, Podge has hated tenders. 

The next day, on board the Aurora, the Captain broadcast the news of the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami that had happened on Boxing day.  

Today’s tender trip was a good trip

Podge needn’t have worried about the crossing. Climbing aboard the tender was a breeze, the crossing was millpond like and getting off the other side even easier. Podge is such a Wimp. ‘Just man-up’ thinks Tubbs. She doesn’t actually say it but Podge is sure that what she’s thinking.

Once ashore, it was like entering a different world. There was, what Podge thought, some sort of premier film event event as there were security guards and limos all over the place and red carpet outside the theatre entrances. Given the total absence of paparazzi however they both concluded that it must be some of film expo / conference. There was certainly no shortage of luvvies however and there were plenty of nice young, and some not so young, ladies each wearing the equivalent, cost wise, to an average 3-bed semi in the UK. Podge and Tubbs just sat on a wall by the sea watching them all meander backwards and forwards remarking to each other how stylish they al looked. “just look at that Italian man on the bicycle” said Tubbs, ‘He looks so stylish even with his cloths on” continued Tubbs. ‘Cripes’ thought Podge, ‘What on earth is going through her head when she’s looking at all these men” he mused. Podge decided he didn’t want to know but couldn’t help asking what she meant. She said that she actually meant compared to being in Lycra. Podge dropped the thoughts.

Having spent more then enough time people watching, Podge & Tubbs, ok, let’s be honest, Tubbs decided that they should cross over the main street and view the shops. This is where The Duchess comes into her own and His Podgeness feels his heart start to race and bounce even more than it was already. The shops in Cannes aren’t the average Ted Baker, DryStuff, Clarks, etc. Oh noooo, these were Prada, Gucci, Rolex, And other names so unique to Italy that His Podgeness just knew that they couldn’t even afford to even look in the windows let along go in, although going in isn’t that easy: you have be spotted, approved and buzzed in through the locked security doors. Then she spotted diamonds. “Oooooh look” she says, ’sparkly things, these are nice’. “If you loved me” she said looking at His Podgeness who has by now gone quite blue, through a sudden reduction in oxygen and coming out in a cold sweat. Podge does love Tubbs: His Podgeness does love The Duchess but when he took a look at the earrings being pointed out, ‘F*%k Me” exclaimed Podge, ‘They cost more than a World Cruise”. This was a good ploy, Podge had played a blinder. All jewellery now equated to another cruise and cruises won every time, presumably because Tubbs reckons on getting more sparkly thinks on future cruises anyway. Eventually, she tired and hunger set in. So they started to look around for somewhere to eat, preferably somewhere close to a tourist shop so that they could get the obligatory fridge magnet.

Throughout the whole cruise, Podge had been craving an omelette and when he saw one rather swanky but not too swanky eatery full of luvvies but still with a couple of tables spare, he was in there. No questions, no debate, no why’s or wherefore’s. Podge was in. Tubbs followed, scanning the horizon for fridge magnet shops and maybe another restaurant. Her first quest was fruitful. A suitable shop straight opposite. Her second quest was pointless. Podge wasn’t moving. “There might be somewhere nicer down there” she said, pointing randomly. “There might be” said Podge, ‘There might not be” continued Podge. “But this is nice and I’m staying here. Tubbs knew when to stop and sat down and perused the menu. Guess what, she had omelette and chips as well. They also had a large carafe of Pinot for good measure and they sat, relaxed, ate, relaxed, drank, relaxed, drank, relaxed and then they drunk some more.

The Tender back to the ship

All too soon, it was time to return to the ship and so they made their way back to the tender point for the journey back. Unfortunately, just about every passenger on the ship seemed to have the same thoughts and the number of tenders seemed to have reduced though why was never identified. Each tender can take about 100 people. Podge reckoned they were in a queue of 800+. To load and unload a tender plus the journey time there and back was well over 30 minutes. With two tenders, this was going to take a long, long time. But the clever captan was also good at contingency planning and acted in the same way that Podge had already decided he should. The Captain organised one of the local large capacity sight seeing boats to collect as many of us as possible and bring them over to the ship. ‘Wow’ thought Podge. “We’ve been upgraded, we’re going in a big boat” said Podge to Tubbs. This pleased Podge as they were much nicer than a tender.

Once back on board, Podge and Tubbs deposited their purchases and made their way to the bar for well earned fivesies and for Podge to rest his weary limbs and lungs.

Poor Podge.

Congratulations to Pete McQuade the founder of the Paris to Hayling Cycle Challenge,

Last Friday evening Meridian News ran an article on the Hayling Island Cycle Ride reaching its 30th Birthday in July this year having raised nearly 1.5 million pounds for a wide variety of worthy causes. This is an event I feel privileged and honoured to have been part of the event since the 90s until 2005 as both a participant and also as Secretary and assisting in Support & Logistics and was even especially in Route Planning under the auspices of Mad Fred.

What started my involvement? Well, I needed to give up smoking, badly. Will power alone wasn’t going to do it: I needed a challenge. Then I saw a news article on the Paris to Hayling Cycle Ride with a picture of 3 rather fetching young ladies with their bikes. ‘That’ll do it for me’ I thought and entered there and then. That first ride was one to remember, and most of it I can but I regret to say that having reached Paris I was rather thirsty and joined other riders at the Hotel Bar in Le Defence. The following events I regret to say are a blur but the next day was my first experience in Riding in France and with so many cyclists (100+) my heavy head was soon forgotten.

Having completed the event plus two or three further events I felt it was time to ‘give something back’ and became a member of the organising committee. Among many things, this did allow, me along with my new fellow cycling buddies Mad Fred, Reg the Hedge, Hobbitt, and Marko: I for my part was named Podge the Puffer on account of age (derivative of Codge), size and hill climbing abilities (almost, a famous five but commonly known as The Reccecrew). And just like the famous five, we had many, many adventures most of which entailed us either getting Lost in France or sampling French Hospitality in bars or café. We tried to document our adventures under the title of Lost in France. An extract of such an adventure is below where we to undertake a ‘recce’ of the proposed route for the coming years Paris to Hayling ride. Naturally, this was all done by bike and naturally, we had to find refreshment stops. But, it wasn’t all easy.


Normandy in France

Recce’s – they’re a doddle, pootle over to France, eat nice food, laze in bed, drink lots of wine, write a few notes.

Well that might be the Chairman’s view but he, and you, should have been with Mad Fred, Podge, Reg the Hedge, Hobbitt, and Marko, when they went to France in March to establish the route for the 5-Day Ride.

The trip to Cherbourg was uneventful. However the weather when we emerged into the darkness in Cherbourg was definitely English ! Windy but mild, and fortunately for us a tail-wind to boot ! Recce’s sometimes mean that we have to retrace our steps and Hobbitt soon found we had to do this within 2 kilometers of the ferry port – straight back into a headwind. While the rest of us munched apple turnovers and pain au chocolate he blasted back to check what turns out to be a very well surfaced and convenient cycle track leading out of the ferry port.

The job done we tackled the first climb ‘Hobbitt’s Early Riser’ – scant reward for his efforts so far. From the top of the hill to Quettenhou the quiet roads follow a plateau and river valleys, OK and one hill, but pretty soon we reached the east coast of the Contin Peninsular and while Mad Fred ploughed on ahead the rest of us piled into a great Bike Shop (well worth stopping at in July).

By the time we reassembled in a bar on the D-Day Beaches the wind was blowing into us at 90 degrees which was pretty hairy but fortunately the roads were totally deserted.  We batted on southwards until the estuary turned us inland and into the headwind for a very painfully slow crawl to Carentan. In the summer this will be a very pretty route but in March it was hell ! Over lunch in Carentan we were all falling asleep.

Moving on after a good feed however, the wind was behind us and with the sun out it was very pleasant as we bowled along towards Bayeaux for the night. We witnessed the strange sight of a large dog bounding trafficwards in the fast lane of the route national, whether the mutt survived was never known but it caused a fair degree of chaos.

We’d picked out a river valley to lead us the last 20 kilometres into Bayeaux but nothing had forewarned us of the flooding we were about to encounter. The valley floor was a giant lake, extending as far as the eye could see with little islands dotted here and there, we pushed on through it and up onto higher ground, getting wet and taking a few photos just to prove the point ! Approaching Bayeaux Hobbitt and Marko went ahead while Mad Fred and Podge planned a route around the ring road being built around this historic town. An early night was spent in Bayeaux as we had a 7am start the next day and we were spent!

From Bayeaux to Caen is quite a nice spin and with a sunny morning it was very pleasant – even with having to contend with ‘Podge’s Puffer’ which is a nice little climb. But there’s always a ‘but’ and in this case it was a slight confusion over where we were going. Marko and Hobbitt were under the impression that they were to meet up with Mad Fred and Podge in……..(‘Lost in France bit’)…..but the latter didn’t share the same view and after an hour of ‘being lost’ we met up, funnily, in a bar (turned out we were never more than a kilometer away from each other). Ploughing on towards Caen we encountered the floods once again, only this time the water was at least a metre deep and right across the road we used to exit Caen last year on the ride to Gorron, and which this year we wanted to use to enter Caen. Podge and Hobbitt vainly attempted to cycle through it, once to see how deep it was, and after proving to themselves that you cannot do a U turn on a cycle loaded with your luggage and up to the axle in water,  once again to pose for the camera. Time to retire to the bar and plot a way around it !

Mission completed we moved on, narrowly avoiding a very serious involvement with the local cycling club who were turning out in force for an afternoon road race. Pukka bikes and riders who understandably ignored the pannier-laden Recce Crew. The skies grew darker and Mad Fred’s unfair admonishment of the French for having moved road numbers and planted a farm in the way of us only served to contribute towards the impending gloom, it was going to rain, and there was going to be lots of it !

We became wetter and colder and more and more miserable so an executive decision was made in the bar – head for Troarn, find a hotel and dry out !

Success with this raised our spirits, helped by a few bottles of red wine, glasses of calvados, and a hot supper. By midnight we felt in reasonable shape to get up at 6am and battle on towards Le Havre, but it was still raining…..!

Sunday morning at 6am and it was still dark, this was the morning after the clocks were altered and to be quite honest we weren’t sure what time it really was. We snuck out of the hotel (having paid the previous night) only to encounter half a dozen Frenchmen having an early coffee and brandy in the hotel bar.

The road from Troarn to Pont l’Eveque is as boring as hell – long, straight, slow hills, and more flooding – anywhere flat seemed to be under masses of water. Mad Fred was some way behind us when we got to Pont l’Eveque and stopped at the first bar – rule number one is if you get separated stop in the first bar and wait, leave your bikes on prominent display so they can’t be missed by the estranged recce crew member. Rule number two is that Mad Fred doesn’t know about rule number one, so we lost him, again.

Reunited we plodded on towards Honfleur where we needed to recce the route off the Pont d’Normandie (BIG bridge to you and Podge who moaned and groaned his way to the top), and onto it for the 4-Day Ride. At the top of the bridge a helpful instrument told us the wind was 40kph, and the temperature was wavering between 4c and 5c. It felt, and was, cold !

Things brightened up once we were over the bridge and pedalling along the nice quiet roads on the industrial approach to Le Havre and with an hour to spare before the ferry left we found an extremely nice restaurant for lunch. Well 2/3 of our lunch, we didn’t have time for the dessert so we’ll go back for that in July. We did have time for 2 courses, and a litre of wine each – hell we’d deserved it, over 200 miles though some pretty miserable weather, now it was time to relax !

Onboard the ship we bumped into Syme and Michelle, two former riders who’d just enjoyed a romantic weekend and now had to face reality in the shape of a hammering in the bar. We failed miserably in the onboard quiz, drank loads of Guinness, a couple of bottles of wine, and a few brandy’s, and wobbled off the ship into the Ship and Castle by the Ferryport. None of us remember much after that !


And, if you want to enjoy such adventures though with less wind and rain, and if the ride continues beyond 2015, I can’t recommend it highly enough..

I’m mindful that I promised myself that I would post an update at least once a week. Now obviously, when I’m sailing the Seven Seas, on a cruise ship I have much to write about; in fact, I could post almost daily – network connectivity permitting of course.  Anybody who’s read about some of my recent cruising adventures will know that connectivity from the middle of the ocean isn’t that great. In fact for my last cruise, unbeknown to Mrs Me, I spent £300 on WiFi and all I managed to post was six updates after which I gave up. And now, here I am,in the middle of a cruise famine, I find myself struggling to come up with something to write about.

As, I sit on a First Great Western HST taking me from Paddington to home (Hungerford), I’m bashing away at the key pad and seeing all these words come on my screen and still I don’t know what to write about. I suppose I could write about my daily adventures on the rail network trying to get from home to my office by London Bridge. If everything fits together, it can be done one hour and forty minutes. In the real world of course and taking door to door into account, it takes around two hours and thirty minutes and most days, that’s how it goes. On the odd occasion however, i.e., at least once a week, something goes wrong: An underground line is suspended; Person on the line; overrunning rail works; early morning driver fails to turn up; train faults, etc.: The list goes on. The best issue to date however is when the train had to crawl almost at walking pace because the speedo didn’t work and it had to make its way to Reading (from Paddington) where the train could turn back to front so that the back became the front where there was a working speedo and the train could then do what a high speed train is supposed to, whiz along at high speed. There was of course the occasion when a train got stuck because it had run out of ‘air’: Yet all the passengers seemed to be breathing just fine. It turned out that the train need air (compressed) for the brakes. This week however , it was a broken underground train on the Bakerloo Line. This meant me getting a slow overground train – I could explain why, but I won’t – to Reading where I could catch a connecting train to Hungerford, only to see such train pulling away as I dashed towards it. This left me with a 24 minute wait for the next train which actually overtook the train I missed. Ironically, I had to change and catch said missed train for the last two station leg. On that occasion, my journey took just under four hours. But, do I really want to write about my train adventures? Probably not, so I won’t write about them. So what what do I write about?

 The Next Day, and –

I still don’t know what to write about. I did think of writing about somebody who passed me a piece of work a couple of days ago while telling me that it’s quite urgent as a customer is seeking a speedy response. When looking through the ‘piece of work’ I noted that it had been sitting in somebody’s tray since the middle of April. Had the work come to me then, it would by now have been completed, the customer would be happy and there would have been no fretting about it’s now urgent nature. Once again, somebody’s lack of forethought and planning constituted my crisis. But then I thought, no, nobody wants to read about that so I won’t write about it.

So, just what do I write?

Then it struck me: I’m sitting here at the kitchen table, looking out of the window seeing great expanses of blue sky with just a few fluffy clouds and the sun just sitting there like a big yellow duster with just the gentlest of breeze teasing the tree tops and I start planning todays cycle ride. Today, I shall cycle a 30 (ish) mile loop taking me up onto the Chute Downs from where I can gaze down and look at the wonders of nature with the oh so english fields of rape reflecting the suns rays, the sheep and their young, bouncing around and no sight nor sound of a single car. That has to be one of the nicest places to cycle to, cycle along, and reluctantly, cycle from.

From there, it’s a series of climbs and descents, up past the gliding club where once again I shall stop and watch the gliders being coaxed into the air by a winch, or sometimes, a small plane; When at an optimum hight, the glider is released and it soars silently  checking out the clouds, competing for air space with Red Kites and Buzzards before making it’s way slowly and gently back to the ground. Again, notwithstanding the small plane, all is silent and nature is at peace with all. After that, it’s a gentle undulating route back past The Swan Inn – a great place to stop if you’re out cycling / walking (shall I [again] be tempted to sample their wares?) before eventually arriving home feeling refreshed having blown the cobwebs away and taken in all that Mother Nature had to offer. But I can’t write about that. I can’t write about that because it’s blowing a hooley outside with dark angry clouds and rain to match. Also of course, the idea of me getting on my bike just now is still an aspiration rather than reality (COPD has seen to that 😦 ). So, I can’t write about that either.

So, I still don’t know what to write about.

There is of course the fabulous weekend, just past, that I spent with the lovely Mrs Me at the Millstream in Bosham near Chichester. We like to spend as much time as we can in and around Chichester and Bosham. The town, the village and the surrounding countryside is just so beautiful Check out the You Tube video by Patrick Macnee to get a feel for the area. Having had an almost complete makeover inside we felt we should go back to see how it looked. It looked LUVERLY. And with the beautiful weather as our constant companion we sat out in the gardens enjoying a lovely glass of Rioja (Me) and Rosé (Mrs Me) before wondering down to the harbour to see if the Bosham Car Wash was in action Watch the video, it is hilarious). Unfortunately it wasn’t, though this did mean that with the tide out, we could make our way round to the Yacht  Club, sit, and watch the sail boats drifting in and out before wondering back through the village wondering at the Wisteria, which seems to be doing extremely well everywhere this season though I have no idea why.

Now, Mrs Me being Mrs Me: No trip to Chichester is possible with a visit to Russell & Bromley, purveyor of fine shoes and handbags: No trip to Russell and Bromley is possible without a purchase and it was with some rightly placed trepidation that I entered the establishment, dutifully following Mrs Me. We looked at boots; we looked at flat shoes; we looked at wedges; we looked at loafers; we looked at same rather high stiletto feel shoes; we even looked at some kinky boots; we looked at large handbags; we looked at small handbags: Briefly, we looked at mens shoes before returning back to ladies shoes. Eventually with great determination, she found a pair she liked. “I’m sorry Madam” said the shop assistant, “we don’t have these in your size” (oh no I thought, my weekend is going to be awful), “But” he said, “I’m sure they are available in one of the other stores: Let me check”. Yep, they did and even better, they would deliver them to home so it was with great joy that we were able to make a purchase and continue shopping. But, I felt there was still some sadness in Mrs Me. Then the penny dropped, we had come to Chichester, bought a pair of shoes but still she had nothing to show for it. But, his Podgeness is sometimes too clever for his own good. He espied a jewellers that did some rather attractive and reasonably priced bracelets, and having pointed them out to Mrs Me, we went in, tried them on (yes, she needed two), purchased them and Mrs Me was once more a happy bunny and with that, we returned to The Millstream for more much needed wine. But, does anybody want to know about all of this? I doubt it, so I won’t write about it. So:

What can I write about?

I don’t know: I haven’t a clue, so for this week I’m afraid I’m going to have to fail my objective and not write anything. Next week, I will try better. I promise. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll include better pictures. But don’t worry, I won’t be in any of them.

I’m not going to say too much this week, mainly because I haven’t got much to write about. This is possibly a good reason to seek out another adventure, most likely on a cruise ship. There is however a couple of news worthy items (in Podge’s world they’re news worthy anyway) I will mention.

1) My breathing has improved, though there is a twist 😦

2) WheelsForRotary – Ride to Remember in July is Cancelled, though all is not lost.

Health – Having reported to my Vet (more correctly referred to as a Doctor 🙂 ), ready to extoll the virtues of a dairy free diet I noticed his preoccupation with my pulse and readings from my recent ECG and blood tests. With respect to my blood test, he informed me that my glucose reading was 8.3 which could be a cause for concern but he wanted a 2nd test (with no food for 12-hours beforehand) before we got excited over it. My heart however was racing too high for his liking and the ECG suggested an erratic nature. This meant my heart was  not very efficient and so not oxygenating my blood properly. So, next stop for me 1) Blood Test (Again) and 2) Cardiology. Boo. But on the up side, my breathing is improving. Yay.

WheelsForRotary – Clearly, I was over ambitious. Following the success of last years inaugural ride and raising over £5K for charity, my goal this was to repeat the event but on a grander scale and tweak the route so that we could visit the D-Day Beaches in recognition of this year being the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings. And, as it was the 70th Anniversary, I really wanted 70 riders to ride 70 miles a day for 7 days (70 days would have pushing it a bit). Well, I got a lot of good / positive feedback and positive responses from likely riders but I’m afraid the ride wasn’t to be. Confirmed riders just didn’t materialise – and so with such few riders, the event simply wasn’t viable.

There is however, an upside.

The ride has been rescheduled such that all we do is to ride [over a long weekend] from the town of Ligueil in France to  its twin town of Hungerford in the UK but still making a stop at Pegasus Bridge to recognise the D-Day event. And Asthma, COPD, Arrhythmia, Diabetes, whatever I’ve got will not stop from doing this ride and we’ll still raise funds for Warchild and Bruce Trust Barges.

So, it ain’t so bad after all. Yay.

Still means I’ve got to cycle 260 miles though. Boo.

So, with all this going on, Mrs Me and I feel the need of another cruise. Fortunately, we have a short cruise at the end of May when we join the Azura sailing to Bruges and St Peter Port with Alfie Boe. Not literally with him of course but he’ll be on board singing. I have ideas for next year (The Amazon) and even for the following year buy I need to turn them into reality. So for this long Bank Holiday Weekend, I will be perusing the Cruise Brochures and websites to see where I [need] to go.

I might also be getting my bikes back out of the garage to see if the wheels still go round, which I’m sure they., or, should I seek out a new one: Do I really need another one.

Mind you, Colnago have brought out the shiny new Colnago C60 for my 60th Year. Slurp.

So, this is to be my first post of 2014. What I’d really like to be writing about is our special cruise coming up in February this year, in fact less than 6-weeks away but I’m afraid I’ll have to wait a couple more weeks before I can do that. Save to say, that the event fills me with excitement, even more so than my 60th Birthday cruise.  No; this post is about a ‘call to arms’. An unashamed attempt to attract fellow supporters / cyclists and even wannabe cyclists. What am I on about? I hear you think. Well:

I want to raise £35,000 for two causes that I genuinely believe are worthy of significant support: Bruce Trust Barges and War Child UK.

How? By taking a maximum of 70 riders to cycle for 7-days in France visiting  Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno & Sword D-Day Beaches while also dropping south to the Loire Valley then heading back north to Argentan, a town which itself which was severely impacted by the D-Day events; and finally, onto Pegasus Bridge and Café Gondrée to regroup, exchange stories and bask in our own satisfaction that we risen to the challenge given and succeeded.

But, be assured, this is not in any way a race. This is not an event where only cycling whippets can take part, though they are welcome. This ride is for anybody and everybody, male, female, old, young, or even ancient like His Podgeness here. You don’t have to be an athlete by any means, those that know me can attest to that. For last years event we took one gentleman who was the wrong side of 60 and only used to the occasional ride between 5 & 10 miles. Yet, our structured / social training rides prepared him such he completed the event with comparative ease. Even for myself, with less than 50% lung effectiveness, and now the wrong side of 59 🙂 such an event is possible, though I do acknowledge I may be a bit slower and recognise the true meaning of a ‘Push Bike’. So, if there is anybody out there who wants to join me on this amazing adventure and help me raise that money for two really worthy causes, then either contact me direct though this medium, or register your interest via the website: http://www.wheels-for-rotary.info.

In the meantime, I shall start to compose my writing on our next, very, very special cruise.