Thursday, 28 June 2012

Ian's blog Day 4: Past the land of power stations

Yesterday we reached the half-way point, and after today’s journey we’ve now got about 125 miles to the finish post at Newcastle House.

Although the navigation this week has been pretty good, today one of the groups got lost after just ½ mile, (for those who did this ride last year, you’ll fully understand when I say this was Gordon’s  group). Meanwhile the other group pressed on, putting miles in front of Gordon’s group. After pushing the pace, Gordon’s group caught up and passed the other group, but then due to ‘technical problems’ (I think it was a puncture), the second group passed us once again gently reminding us of story of the ‘tortoise and the hare’.

[caption id="attachment_3332" align="aligncenter" width="418"] Gordon going through the route instructions for the rest of the journey[/caption]

Despite the predictions of a downpour, the weather held up and as we left Nottingham we passed through some quaint country lanes and tracked past the east of Sherwood Forest and past the land of power stations. The rain held off for the day, despite the predictions of the BBC weather forecasters and the sun came out to raise the temperature at the end of the day.

Although today was the furthest distance wise so far (82 miles), due to the flatter route and the prevailing south westerly, we were able to reach the Premier Inn in record time. At some points in the journey today, Gordon had to remind riders to slow down the pace as cyclists were pushing speeds of up 25 – 30 mph on the flat – truly phenomenal cycling!  But now everyone is starting to feel the aches and pains of 4 days of punishing pedal pushing.

[caption id="attachment_3333" align="aligncenter" width="598"] Ben Beach from Bertrams illustrates how we should stretch the legs and help to prevent the muscles from cramping up.[/caption]

As the route took us around Newark, we headed further north towards Gainsborough and then turned north-east again towards Scunthorpe. After passing round the west of Scunthorpe, we headed directly north the Humber Bridge. The Bridge was opened just over 31 years ago in June 1981 to traffic. Car drivers would normally pay £1.50 for each crossing, but there were no such demands on the cyclists to empty their pockets at the toll booths. Instead we were treated to great views along the Humber estuary.

[caption id="attachment_3334" align="aligncenter" width="598"] The Humber bridge from the south side of the river. The Premier Inn we’re staying at tonight is about ½ mile from the north end of the bridge.[/caption]

The other group leader is Andy Cook who is a very experienced cyclist and has cycled with Mark Charlton for a number of years [you may also remember Mark went on one of Andy's training camps in Mallorca earlier this year and Andy was also involved in the cycling arrangements for John Bishop's 'Week of Hell' - Ed]

Andy Cook has organised the route and the logistics for this year’s cycle ride as well as cycled with us and given a great deal of encouragement and advice.

Tomorrow is expected to be the hardest day’s ride. It’s a 87 mile journey climbing through the North Yorkshire Moors and will be a tough challenge for all the cyclists especially at this stage in the journey.

Thanks once again to everyone for your continued donations during the week and for your comments on the blog.


  1. Ian well done to you all, I've loved reading your blog, you're wasted. Good luck to you all.

  2. I remember seeing all those power stations from my trips to/from the north-east by rail as a student. They make a strangely impressive sight if you can get on a high spot to see a number of them spreading away into the distance.