I have also never been so proud of a team effort. 30 wonderful, wet, cold, bedraggled, muddy, tired, aching cyclists finally made it to the hotel at 7.30pm, mostly with humours in tact, after a twelve hour day tackling the streets of London, hill upon hill upon steep fecking hill, lashing rain and a howling gale.
There has been an amazing team spirit today. We rode together all day, everybody looking out for each other, those at the front stopping to wait for those bringing up the rear; the fitter among us (not me, I hasten to add) going back to help those requiring support getting up hills, massaging cramps and changing tyres; keeping up spirits when the going got tough.
98 arduous, ridiculously hilly (undulating, my arse, Mr Hammond!), cold, wet, windy (and for the last hour, dark) miles … that’s day 2 done!
So in celebration, a song or two I think …
- Keeping your head out of the loo (yes, this is a song, google it) … how my day started, after a sleepless night spent throwing up.
- London calling … yes, they want their streets back, they appear to be riddled with cyclists riding three abreast, no less.
- It’s raining men … in tights! I have never seen so many men in tights. One doesn’t know where to look.
- The hills are alive with the sound of … 30 knackered cyclists, creaking, groaning and pedalling like fury up so many hills.
- Windy Miller, Windy Miller can you grind the corn … no, but I can summon a ferocious wind to bitch slap you about a bit on your bikes … and I’m talking a real hoolie, like 30mph gusts blowing in all directions.
- It’s a long way to Tipperary … it may be, but not as bloody long as it is from West London to Folkestone via a few navigational cock ups.
- I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain … we were, at one point (Oh I do like to be beside the seaside) in a spontaneous outbreak of morale.
- This bed is on fire … no, it’s not, but my arse is.
- I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike … actually, no I don’t, not really! Don’t even want to look at it.
- We are sailing, we are sailing … at least we will be in the morning, providing the storm abates and the ferries are running, that’s a puke fest waiting to happen if the sea was anything to go by tonight.
- I love Paris in the springtime … ‘cept it’s Autumn. And cold and wet.
I signed up for this ride because I wanted to challenge myself; take on something I’d not tried before and push my limits. Done that. So over that. Can I go home now? No, I can’t. Because I also signed up to this ride to raise money for Bliss. To help them provide vital support and care to premature and poorly babies and their families. So please, if you can spare a few pennies, or a few pounds, please donate at www.justgiving.com/rebecca-pointer and help spur us on.