Thursday, 30 June 2011

Day 4: A - B Bike Ride

[caption id="attachment_1022" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Gavin Spares, Gavin Fraser, Ian Tallamy and Jason Marshall ready for action[/caption]

Our cyclists are feeling the call of the home stretch now, with only two more days cycling to go.  And how did Wednesday - Day 3 go for them all?  Let's find out from Ian:

"The weather continues to be kind to us.  On Wednesday the temperature again was fairly cool, but we thought at one point it was going to rain.  Fortunately the rain stayed away and we continued cycling on dry roads.

The terrain is becoming a little less hilly than in the first couple of days, but there are still a few 'nice surprises' for us round the corners.  After 3 days of cycling, for many of the group, the relief of a flat road is obvious and very welcome, although to compensate we’re cycling further distances.  Wednesday was about 79 miles and Thursday will be over 80 miles.

Chris Atherton had a much happier day’s cycling on Day 3, not coming off once.  He was also the first to arrive at our destination in Kettering!

But not everyone had a good day like Chris.  One of the team had a bee fly underneath his glasses and into his helmet. In the panic to free the bee, he lost control of his bike and came off.  He was then promptly stung by the bee, as well as by the nettles in the bush where he landed.  The whole group slowed down to give assistance, but in doing so another two cyclists collided and came off their bikes. Luckily all 3 got up and carried on riding through to the end.

[caption id="attachment_1025" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Martin Beach, Stuart Mcgeoch, Laura Cooke, Adam Horton and John Murphy en route[/caption]

We’ve also had some mechanical failures along the way – lots of punctures, gears breaking down and other problems. But we have a good support team helping us out.  Chris Davies from Qoroz has a van with spare wheels, tyres, inner tubes, all the spanners and screwdrivers you could need, and even a spare titanium bike, which we used today when one of our riders was unable to continue on his own bike.

We’re all looking forward to the next couple of days. The distances and the miles are passing more easily now, although there are more of them, and we’re now talking realistically of us all making it to Bertrams on Friday.

One nice surprise on Wednesday was that a representative from Gavin Fraser’s charity - The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance - has been following his progress on the this site and came to meet him at a morning pit stop for a photo shoot. Which reminds me, the whole purpose of this trip is to raise as much money as we can for charity, so if you’re able to give (or give more) to sponsor one of the cyclists please visit the 'Sponsor a Cyclist' page." [NB Page no longer available - Ed]

Today's Route = 83 miles: Total climbing, with just over 80 miles of riding, is 529m, with a maximum height of 105m.  We roll out through Kettering town centre towards Thrapston, where we cross the River Nene. We pass many existing and disused RAF airfields notably RAF Alconbury.

The area remains very popular with Cycling time triallists due to the flat roads, where many British records have been broken in the past.

Passing through Ely with its beautiful Norman cathedral before heading for RAF Lakenheath and then the Thetford Forest, which is used for National Mountain bike races. Then we get into Thetford itself.

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