Charity Bike Ride

Cycle Challenge Poster

Last year my husband and I entered a cycle challenge event in aid of our local Katherine House Hospice on our tandem. Imagine our surprise when we saw our picture on the posters and other advertising material for this year’s challenge. Well we just had to enter again didn’t we?

As you can see from the poster it took place yesterday. Last year was a rather chilly day, at least to start with and as you can see we had to wrap up warm. This year it was a different story, it was a hot day and we were able to wear shorts and short-sleeved tops from the off.

As usual for this event there was a choice of routes, from a 8 mile family fun route, a 20 mile mini route, a 45 mile midi route up to a 65 mile maxi route. Last year we did the midi route and this is the one we opted for again. We have a different tandem this year. Those who follow my blog regularly may remember that we took our old one, a Gitane, seen in the poster, out to our daughter in Spain last autumn having bought ourselves a better one, a locally built George Longstaffe – a Rolls Royce of tandems.

One of the advantages for us on this ride is that after the first 10 miles or so it passes within a few hundred yards of our home and so we took a slight detour for our first refreshment stop. Last year this is where we divested ourselves of some of our extra clothing as it had warmed up by then. We then returned to our point of departure from the route and continued on.

Tandem SignThe event is not a race so we took our time, enjoying the countryside, especially in view of my husband’s recent angina diagnosis, we didn’t want to push it too hard. A few miles further on from our home stop we had to make a detour from the event’s original planned route due to a road closure for resurfacing. This meant going down some rather narrow lanes one of which was dreadfully riddled with potholes and liberally sprinkled with gravel – neither much fun on a tandem and we felt that the sign my husband had decided to hang on the back of the bike was somewhat justified!

At one point we missed one of the route signs and went straight on instead of turning right, despite thinking that we should have made the turn. A bit further on we caught up to a group who had also missed the sign and after a brief discussion we agreed we needed to go back to the turning. This time we did notice the route sign on the corner but it was barely visible. We found out after the event that some of the signs had gone missing altogether and some had to be replaced by the organisers.

Our next stop was at a canal-side café where we had stopped for lunch last year. This time we were rather early for lunch and it was very crowded as there was a canal-side festival going on, the fine and sunny weather making it an attractive local event, so we had a quick stop for some of the drink and snacks we had with us and used their facilities for a comfort break before continuing on. About 10 miles from the finish we stopped again at a local farm park where they make their own ice-cream; we felt we deserved a treat (and another comfort break). This stop was longer than intended as there was a very long queue for the excellent ice-cream. Thus refreshed we set off for the final leg back to the Hospice.

It was a very enjoyable ride, despite being hot and sweaty and we both caught the sun, now having red lines showing where our shorts and sleeves came to! There were a number of hills to struggle up – some were short and punchy, others more of a long drag and the last two or three I could have really done without as the heat got to us a bit, but nothing we couldn’t manage without too much difficulty. Our two or three detours, due to home visits, road-works and missing signs meant that we went the extra mile completing 46 miles rather than the 45 stated as the route length. Again we received a rather nice badge for our achievement so now all that we need to do is collect in some of the still outstanding sponsor money we have been promised and hand it in to the Hospice. Then perhaps we will do it all again next year.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jules
    May 07, 2018 @ 18:58:14

    Best to you for a great job! Careful of all that sun – even on a cloudy day you need to put protective lotion on exposed skin. 🙂

    Reply

    • Libby
      May 08, 2018 @ 15:26:01

      I agree – though I usually let myself catch a bit of sun before I slap the cream on otherwise I wouldn’t go brown at all. Even when I am brown (for me) I’m still pale compared with most people!

      Reply

  2. elaine patricia
    May 07, 2018 @ 19:45:16

    Well done

    Reply

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