Deloitte RAB 2012
The final day dawns and the excitement around the camp is tangible. This would be the day we reached the end of our journey, the last day of riding 100 miles on my bike. (Let’s face it, after this it might be the last time I ever get on my bike...)
Some had to start extremely early in order to catch their buses, trains or planes! We didn’t have to start too early, we had been less optimistic about our capabilities and all gone for worst case scenario so our buses weren’t until after 6pm!
Unsurprisingly, after yesterday’s epic day, I slept in – PANIC! Apparently the Proclaimers had been playing but I hadn’t heard a thing and I now know I wasn’t the only one. I awoke to find it light and knew immediately that something wasn’t right. At 530 it is definitely dark and it is not until you are emerging from breakfast or cleaning your teeth that the sun is rising and you can switch your headtorch off. It was 640 and we were due to leave at 715. No time for breakfast and in a complete panic, I ran around collecting my laund
Breakfast at just after 5am and I was lucky enough to sit with brilliant but slightly bleary eyed Scottish skier Alain Baxter for breakfast who had taken a train at around 4 this morning to ride with us today, hmm not the best choice of day, hope that was worth it. I was grateful for the distraction from the terror that lay ahead. He confided that he was used to the type of riding that takes place round a track for about 20 seconds so he was also, I think, feeling a little nervous. It was a quick breakfast though as I had to get to the start line very early being
After yesterday’s battle, ‘Don’t stop believing’ rang out this morning! The day dawned a little damp but it soon dried up. The roads were flat and wide and today we made good time throughout, which was lucky as today was the day my mother was waiting at the other end to see and hear what on earth I had been up to. I grew up in Scotland and have only been South for 10 or so years but I had forgotten the lay of the dramatic landscape and there is no better way to view it than on a bicycle. Having passed Carlisle we were soon in Gretna Green and
Day 5 Haydock to Penrith
Day 4 is uneventful. Along the 106 miles from Ludlow to Haydock race courses, the terrain is the flattest of the trip, the weather is reasonable but I still manage to have a bad day. I’m just exhausted having ridden over 400 miles and beginning to wonder whether I can physically complete another 400 and more. I obviously haven’t reached that stage where you begin to get fitter and stronger yet, so the day drags for me.
The atmosphere at breakfast this morning was more upbeat, an easier day was expected and needed by all. At the start our groups had gained a few members and lost a couple – the riders are still finding their feet and their pace and the groups are still changing from day to day while people find their personal preferable mix of chaperone, speed and mix of riders, some move for a change of scene and some just miss the group because they slept in – we’re so keen we leave at 715am prompt (um actually otherwise we wouldn’t be back before dark...)
Having been woken by the dulcet tones of PJ & Duncan (yes Ant & Dec as we know them now) singing ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’ and really thinking that Kelly Clarkson’s ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ might be more appropriate....I got to the start slightly earlier this morning, determined as I said to join a group. Thankfully, Jackie Cook (wife and organiser of Andy Cook) directed me to a lovely and patient chaperone called Stuart and I breathed a sigh of relief as a small group of us left together.
530am wakeup call ‘I want to ride my bicycle’ blaring from the speakers, ha, yeah, funny. After a massive bowl of porridge for breakfast (there are full cooked options if you can stomach it that early), I dressed in various layers of cycling kit to cover all British weather options and obviously there are many, packed up and handed my bag to the chirpy (yes really, everyday) luggage guys. Feeling slightly nauseous, I washed out and filled my water bottles with water and electrolytes, stacked my bike with energy bars (natural in my case and some ev
So I had hoped to give you a blow by blow, day by day account of the Deloitte RAB Lands End to John O’ Groats cycle ride but due to some, shall we say, ‘velocity issues’ – more about those later – that proved to be rather difficult! However, you will all no doubt be relieved to hear that having (almost) recovered from my experience, it is time to finally share it all with you!