Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Headin to Jordyland

All right, where shall we start? How about the beginning. Last time you got a posting, it was Vix telling you about my Newcastle to Leeds leg. Shall we go back a bit? How about the first day on the bike?

Firstly we lined up in Edinburgh with Mark Cavendish (see photo) we rolled out headed towards the borders, Berwick upon Tweed actually. So, off we went and it was just as I expected. Lots of different riders, trying to show how strong they were. I picked up with a group or two, but couldn't really find anyone that provided a good combination of conversation and geeky bike talk.

Once we hit the borders however, the elevation started; and the weather came in. Really awful weather. I'm sure that the views were great, but with the rain and the mist, you couldn't see a thing. Well, apart from the road kill. I think that I saw just about every type of animal that a vehicle could hit. And then the hills came. Not hills, but big 17% inclines that were just trying to slow me down. And then, once I did get up it, I had to deal with the incredible decline. Normally, it would have been fun, but with the limited visability and the wet roads, caution won out.

We wound our way through about 62 miles on the first day, and ended up in Peelham Farm, a great sustainable farm that put on a great campsite with live music and some of the best food I could eat. Here's another photo.

So, you probably want to know how I felt, and how I did. The group on the haybales are the first in, and I was about 13th in. But, it was all due to John a guy from Surrey who helped me on the last climb. Nice guy.

Good thing about getting in with the first groups mean that you get more recovery time. And first into the showers. Excellent.

The next day was Berwick to Newcastle. A big day, with over 100 miles. Great! Again, I fell in with a pretty strong group that consisted of Dan (IronMan) from Imperial who I had met earlier. He's a strong rider and was using this as a cool down from his IronMan UK competition. How's that for endurance? So, I hung with Dan most of the way, and we rode out with a great rider named Ruth. She was absolutely awesome! Strong and real confident in a group ride. And she was funny, which isn't that easy when you have been hammering along in the big ring for hours after hours. Here is a picture of both of them.

So, we headed out to the pub, while some of the riders went to see Newcastle play Sheffield Wednesday (1-0). I expected some really good beer at the pub, but all Ale was off, so I had a lager. As you might guess, I'm not a fan of Newcastle. Especially as the halls we stayed in were like a rabbit warren. And they had no Wifi. Hence the reason for not posting.

Well, thats it for tonight. I'll try to post the SufferFest that was Newcastle to Leeds and the next day (Leeds to Nottingham). But, you'll have to wait. I'm going to bed.

1 comment:

Living the Dream said...

Well done Bill, we are very proud of you. Of course we knew you could do it, you won't be beaten. How young do you have to be to do the Tour??