Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Pete Cycles On Blog

I've created a new post-LEJOG blog http://petecycling.blogspot.com/ for day rides and touring plans

Thursday, 22 July 2010

10 weeks on

Our fundraising total has now reached £12,089! I've been cycling to work most days during the hot dry weather we've been having, but haven't done much cycling at weekends, apart from a 42 mile ride with Nicky, my wife. I'm still keen to do another long distance bike ride sometime - possibly unsupported and just staying wherever I end up. Nicky and I met up with Ellen, Alice, Siobhan and Steve Hampshire (the Famous 5) plus families one Sunday on Richmond Park for a picnic with lashings of ginger beer and ball games. I also presented my Mum with her medal that she won for joining in during our stretching exercises. On 10th Oct about 10 of the team plan to cycle from Tring to Wallingford and back (around 65 miles) - for a re-union ride.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

We Made It!

I added the text below soon after we finished on 15th May - but I'm moving this to the top...
After 12 days averaging around 85 miles per day and into northerly winds most of the way we all made it to the end, although a couple of us took a lift in one of the vans when faced with problems. Mike and I have raised over £10,000 for CLIC Sargent. So mission accomplished. Thanks for all your encouragement, support and sponsorship.

That's me in the baseball cap above the N of FINISH. With Mike crouched on the left.

Cycling from one end of the country to another gave one a sense of achievement, although in my case I decided to travel in the support vehicle on the seventh day, as I'd had a bad night's sleep and didn't think I was safe to 'operate machinery'! I enjoyed helping to provide lunch that day though and got to know the support team better. Discover Adventure do an excellent job keeping you well fed, look after technical and health problems, keep morale up (with Andy's jokes and the Andy-Kenny double act See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj092vkqWcw&feature=player_embedded) . I would recommend them to others who can fit in well in a team.

The scenery was great - apart from some Lancashire towns and it was nice raising money for charity whilst having a good time. You had to make sure you didn't just keep your head down and just see tarmac and instead stop to take photos and enjoy the scenery. To quote a poet my Mum likes 'What is this life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare?'

However by far the best thing about the trip was the people on it and the fun we all had together. We all seemed to gel together as a team well, with the help of the organisers, and we kept each others spirits up and cared for those who were finding the challenge a bit difficult either physically or mentally. Thanks everyone you were great - as I said in my 'closing speech' I hadn't laughed so much since I was a teenager - mainly thanks to Siobhan, Ellen and Alice's jokes and antics in the 'Famous Five' team at the back, but everyone seemed in good spirits on most of the 12 days, and it really made it worthwhile. Doing it solo or in a couple just wouldn't have been the same. It also gave me a chance to spend some time with my elder brother Mike - whom I was pretty close to as a kid, but as we're now about 300 miles apart we only see each a day or so a year. We had some good talks and I appreciate how difficult it has been for him and his wife to loose a loved one at the age of 20. Although some of the old sibling rivalry did surface at times we got to know each other better and both had a great time with the team.

Team Leader Jo organised us well and was decisive dealing with problems and handling her 'boys'. Andy (ex army/ex copper) was great at keeping up morale and keeping tabs on how we were feeling. Kenny (ex Dartmoor Governor!) provided excellent food, has a great sense of humour, is a good chap to talk over problems with - and a pretty good singer. I particularly enjoyed singing along to Afternoon Delight in the van on my day off. He's also good at stretching exercises, during which my Mother joined in at Preston (See video below on Day 6).

Hopefully some of us will keep in touch, meet up for bike rides and go on to do other Discover Adventure challenges.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Final Day Sat 15th May Betty Hill to John O’Groats 62 miles

Breakfast was a bit slow because the hotel seemed to want to take individual breakfast orders. I set off with The Famous 5 and stopped for a photo at Brawl. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't pass Twatt, of which there was a photo in last night's hotel - but it's on Orkney it seems. The scenery was nice and we had views of the high cliffs of Orkney. Then we passed through some more gentle countryside near the Dounray nuclear power station, which is being decomissioned.
I was keen to buy some gifts for Jo, Andy and Kenny and Steve Huckle had started a collection. I thought it would be good to buy a momento or give them a bottle of something, rather than cash. As we'd be in Inverness quite late we called to the shops at Thurso and after dashing into several tacky shops I eventually found a silk scarf and earing set in turquoise that I thought would suit Jo, and got a massive card I hid up my jumper. We gave Andy and Kenny bottles of whisky and Tam O'Shanters. We then pressed on and with a strong headwind and hail for the last 3 miles made it to the pub where everyone else was waiting. We all cycled to the finish together and went a few times around the roundabout before several photo opportunities. We then waited for the coach in the cafe then travelled to Inverness which took about 2 or 3 hours. The hotel in Inverness was good, full of Japanese, and I shared a room with Mike again. After a drink in the bar we went to a Chinese restaurant where they kept bringing out starters for about an hour before the main course. We ended the meal with the issue of certificates and speeches from the Discover Adventure team Jo, Kenny and Andy. I then presented their presents and said some heartfelt words of thanks to the Discover Adventure team who did an excellent job of looking after us, keeping up morale and sorting out any problems. I have already recommended DA to others and may well be back for more myself!
Alice's American fiance Scott was at the end and he'd stayed in Inverness the previous night. Rather than just sit in the hotel some of us were keen to party, so we went on to the Hootenany Bar where there was a ceilidh band. I danced a jig and reel with Alice and random young people on the dance floor, including 2 girls who knew all the right moves. It was a good night and we got to sleep before the final leg of the journey, that involved train trips, our flights being cancelled because of volcanic ash! I got home about 10.30pm the next day, whilst Mike had to take the overnight sleeper from London to Penzance.

Day 11 Fri 14th May Bonar Bridge to Betty Hill 62 miles

We left our castle and headed off over a footbridge then northwards towards Bettyhill. We stopped for coffee and cake that Discover Adventure had arranged at Crask Inn. The Famous 5 later had an ice lolly stop at a camp site.
We saw some Red Deer cross our path and cycled along Strath Naver which seemed to be the playground of the rich - lots of fly fishing going on and Range Rovers.
Eventually we reached our hotel at Bettyhill - which was a bit basic, but had good baths and I had a room to myself again.
We had a buffet lunch at the hotel and I had a hot bath and a brief rest. I was keen to go for a swim in the Atlantic and Alice was keen too. We decided to keep our lycra trousers on in case the sea was freezing but it wasn't too bad. Mine needed a wash anyway. There were a couple of surfers and the sea too and we stayed for about 15 minutes. Mike came along later and after we'd tested the water and sauntered down to the sea for a swim too in just his swimming shorts.

We had quite a good meal although the service was a little slow as the Lithuanian waitress didn't understand English or Scottish!
We had a drink in the hotel bar which was full of locals and had a juke box.

Day 10 Thu 13th May Invergarry to Bonar Bridge 83 miles

Woke early again and sneaked out of my dormitory for a morning walk up a road past a farm. No cooked breakfast but we were all full of burgers and sausages from the night before anyway, so just had cereal and toast. It was Eddy's 60th birthday today and the plan was for everyone to not mention it so he thought we'd forgotten, then present him with a cake during our briefing/stretching.
We cycled up the Great Glen alongside Loch Ness, and didn't see the monster, although I did see 2 enterprising blokes dressed in furry monster suits offering to pose next to a coach party of Germans - for cash I assume. We had a coffee stop by Drumnadrochit then turned left towards Beauly up a steep hill, walking the last bit. Why struggle cycling up a steep hill when it's much easier to get off and walk and enjoy the scenery?

We eventually stopped for lunch in a rather exposed spot north of Dingwall with no toilets. So we after lunch with The Famous Five in need of a loo stop we decided to call at the next pub to use the loos. It was very cold and exposed at this point, so I suggested we had a quick whisky - which we did. We weren't sure where to put the bikes but the landlady encouraged us to bring them in and put them by the pool table. 4 Highland Park whiskies, a half of Guinness and a Baileys were consumed before we went on our way.

That night we stayed at Carbisdale Castle Youth Hostel, a rather grand place, where we had a bit of a party for Eddy, with his wife who had flown up to Inverness and hired a car to join him on the last few days - or nights.
We found a quite reading room and had a sing song. Eventually the some puzzled Americans and a bloke with a fringe and bald head left the room!

Day 9 Wed 12th May Inverary to Invergarry 97 miles

I awoke early yet again, this time with a bit of a hangover and decided to clear my head with a walk in the bright sunshine before breakfast. Walked up to Inverarry Castle and back along the shore. There were great views. It was good to spend a bit of time seeing the scenery whilst limbering up, rather than spending all of ones waking hours in the saddle.
The castle is quite a new one, built in 1720 in nice grounds.
After breakfast we set off over quite a hill up over moorlands then down into scenic Loch Awe, past Ben Cruachan and Lochawe village where we had an unscheduled coffee stop, before the official coffee stop at Connel. It was around this time that Alice decided to join our group of four, so 'The Four Tops' became 'The Famous Five'!
I know this area quite well as I spent some time here in the summer of 1975 with my first proper girlfriend when we were both at Aberdeen University. Susan lived on an estate near Taynuilt where her parents were caretakers and we used to travel to Oban where I worked as a jobbing gardener and Susan sold fresh fruit on the street from a converted pram, earning enough to travel by by rail to Greece. So the sights and smells made me quite nostalgic and romantic.
We cycled on up the coast of Loch Linnhe through Fort William and up a hill over past a Comando Monument. I cycled on cycle paths where I could as they were generally well surfaces, and just before the monument I came across a woman's orange scarf, that I decided would be worth keeping to provide extra warmth and as it was my colour!

What do you reckon?
We then travelled on to Invergarry Youth Hostel where Andy and Kenny cooked us a BBQ. It was a little midgy but ok, and we retired to the lounge, where I played a few songs on guitar with the aid of a couple of songbooks. We had a good sing song and lots of ale and whisky was drunk.
As the trip progressed the team seemed to give up their ideas of watching what they ate and drunk in the interest of keeping fit. Eating and drinking what you feel like at the time I think is the best policy anyway. That night we were all in dorms each with 3 bunk beds. Aided by super strength lager Jim woke people in our dorm speaking in tongues, even though he only claimed to speak East Yorkshire. It sounded to me like a political speech in French or Spanish, by President De Gaule or someone - interspersed with 'Shut up'. I nearly shouted 'You shutup' but didn't want to start an arguement! Jim thought it could have been his Norman ancestors!

Day 8 Tues 11th May Kilmarnock to Inverary 90 miles

I woke at dawn after a good night's sleep in our Premier Inn in Kilmarnock and decided to go for a quick walk/jog before breakfast. There was a frost but it was sunny and I came across a nice little new housing estate with houses built around a small lake with lots of tweeting birds (on their blackberries!). Had a good breakfast then as I was packed and ready I decided to set off with Jim and get a head start. We had good views over the Isle of Aran, and the coast, and all met up for coffee at Largs.

We then crossed the Firth of Clyde on the Gourock to Dunoon ferry and had lunch in a forest car park.

The scenery improved from then on till the end of the trip, and we cycled along the edge of sea lochs and up over farm and moorlands to Inverary. I cycled with 'The 4 Tops' most of the afternoon and we had an unscheduled ice cream stop at a garden centre/oyster bar.
The Argyll Hotel in Inverary was nice (pictured below). I had my own room with a sea view and we had a good meal before some of us, inc Alice, Ellen, Siobhan, Steve Hampshire, Mike and Eddy visited the George Inn, where Nicky and I went at Easter. We had a couple of drinks and it was a great end to a great day.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Day 7 Mon 10th May Carlisle to Kilmarnock 95 miles

I'm not sure why but I hardly slept at all in the night and I got up feeling dizzy and zombie-like. Somehow things that had been on my mind had built up and I couldn't relax. Or maybe it was God telling me that I needed a day off! Whilst I'm not a regular church goer I am a Christian and think the idea of weekly day of rest is a pretty good one, along with the other moral codes that Christianity advocates. Anyway I didn't feel I'd be safe riding a bike in traffic that day and had even considered giving up during the night. I decided that Mike and I should talk things through with Jo, the team leader, who agreed that travelling in one of the vans was the best option and helping with the support team. I felt a bit disappointed that I hadn't cycled the whole trip - but it was better to be safe than sorry.

We travelled into Scotland and through Gretna Green. Apparently Angela was cycling with 18 year old Lewis in Gretna Green and said to him 'fancy it Lewis?' when passing the marriage office. Lewis looked scared then laughed.

Kenny and Andy and I did some shopping at Tescos in Dumfries and then sang along to old 70s songs on the radio 'Afternoon Delight' being a memorable one. That helped lift my spirits and I began to feel human again.

We then drove on to the lunch stop that was on the A76 by a cascading river near Sanquar. I helped set up the site and buffet - similar to the one pictured.
It was a cold day with sleet in the morning and Kenny made some excellent pasta and soup to warm people up. I spent a bit of time meditating by the river until the team arrived and scoffed our lunch - that we had tested for them!
We stayed in a Premier Lodge on the outskirts of town and had a good meal and a drink which knocked me out so I had an early night. The DA team thought it a good idea for me to have a room to myself rather than sharing with brother Mike, which seemed a good idea as I found it easiest to relax on my own. It's also fair to say that a bit of sibling rivalry was surfacing - even though I have great respect for my big brother and his sense of humour! I had a good night's sleep although woke with the dawn chorus refreshed and ready for exercise.

Day 6 Sun 9th May Preston to Carlisle 100 miles

We had breakfast with my parents and I dressed in my new trousers - or 'sexy pants' as I call them and red top. Mike said he was going to dress in matching gear but decided to wear his purple top. Our parents were keen to see us do our stretching exercises in the hotel car park, and my 85 year old Mum joined in whilst Dad videoed us. It was a sunny day - but with a quite chilly north wind.

We then set off and travelled up past Lancaster and Kendal and I travelled with 'The Four Tops' most of the way and had a good time. We passed a big car boot sale and Ford Escort owners festival in fields. After Kendal we had a big climb over Shap Fell. It was a fairly steep hill but I put my bike in its granny gear (28 tooth chainwheel and 30 tooth back cog) and made it up the hill without getting out of my saddle. Saw some nice scenery with hill sheep farms reminding me of the Yorkshire Dales. At the top we just cruised down to Shap village for lunch. At lunch stops I was ravinous and ate as much as I could stuff in in the time before Kenny packed up. After lunch it was a fairly easy ride into Carlisle with good views.

Messing about in Carlisle above. We made it into Carlisle a bit on the late side after frequent loo stops etc and checked into our hotel. Had a good meal then ventured over the road to a pub for a couple of drinks. We were tired but happy having made it through England and Wales and about to go into the last half of our ride 'Scotland'.

Day 5 Sat 8th May Shrewsbury to Preston 86 miles

We set off from our 2 hotels in 2 groups in cool showery weather. Mike and I cycled with 'The Three Degrees' at the start and had fun singing and joking. Ed had ordered a new waterproof from the cycle shop in Shreswbury so was at the back. Jim - the guy from Hull tended to set off early and travel at a steady pace, consulted his directions and often made it through the towns quicker than others who took the wrong route. At the first coffee stop Mike decided to travel on with a faster group whilst I stayed with what became 'The Four Tops'! I decided that I might as well stick with this group and enjoy the scenery and laughs.
We met a guy (pictured left) who was running LEJOG with support from his wife in a camper van. Just after that disaster struck. we were enjoying the scenery of Cheshire when there was a big pothole over the brow of a hill. I was leading and avoided it shouting 'pothole' so that Ellen could avoid it, which she did. Unfortunately Siobhan who was right behind her went right in it and came off her bike. Steve was taking up the rear as usual and he crashed into Siobhan ending up in a heap in the road. Fortunately the car behind managed to stop in time and neither Siobhan or Steve were hurt - just shocked and briused in Siobhan's case. However her bike's handlebars were twisted and the bike unrideable (See pic). I rang our leader's mobile and one of the vans came and swapped her bike for the spare hybrid bike they had.
Looking back we may have been cycling a bit close together and looking at the scenery rather than the road, although we certainly weren't 'slipstreaming' like some do (Nigel and co for example). I personally like to keep a good distance between bikes and whilst I do warn the cyclist behind of potholes I don't see that it should be my responsibility to warn someone right on my tail of every little bump in the road.
We travelled through the towns and urban sprawl of Wigan and Warrington, with some rough areas and quite nice housing with neatly tended gardens and cherry trees in blossom, probably owned by rich retired Lancashire folk. I went on ahead of the 3 degrees for a bit after the crash, but then met up with them for the final leg to Preston where my parents (aged 85 and 86) were waiting, Dad with his video camera. They immediately went into parent mode and said something like 'Here's your key, you go up to room 101 and have a bath then meet us in the bar at 7pm' ...'Yes Mum'. So now I was getting orders from two higher authorities, the parent's trumping DA! Two of Mike's wife Jan's cousins were there also, and we had a good meal and enjoyed the briefing aftewards and jokes. I had a couple of drinks and felt pretty good. Mum had bought me on request some decent lycra long cycling trousers to replace my jogging bottoms which weren't up to the job. I also gained a new watch to replace my broken one and a red cycling jersey to match Mike's - Team Bradbury. Mum got some dirty washing in return! Thanks Mum - the Bradbury support team in action.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Day 4 Fri 7th May Tintern to Shrewsbury 90 miles

I didn't sleep that well but at least I'd finished my antibiotics and had a bit more energy than before. News of the election was that it was a hung parliament. The wind was still from the north but not too strong and the weather cool and showery. Mike decided to take some photos of Tintern Abbey after our stretching, so I stayed with him and set off at the back. We caught up Chris and Steve Huckle somehow and decided to call into Monmouth as Mike needed a new mobile and Steve some ibuprofen. Mike hadn't his wallet so I had to give him a loan. That took about half an hour and I phoned Jo to let her know of the delay. We cycled along fairly straight but hilly Roman roads in quite nice countryside and villages (pictured) up the Wye valley then across Herefordshire. We travelled through Hereford then had lunch the small village of Leintwardine.
Many of the group were still treating the challenge like a race or a test of personal endurance, which annoyed me a bit. There was however a small group at the back nicknamed 'The Three Degrees' as they were always singing, and they seemed to be having all the fun. (Ellen, Siobhan and Steve Hampshire). So I joined them for some of the day and did some backing vocals! I also cycled with Angela for a while - who was a but sore but in good spirits as ever!
Somehow after lunch I set off with Chris and we just about caught up with Nigel and co, then I lost them. Some stopped at Edward's sisters house, as Ed lived in Shrewsbury where he runs Wood's Brewery. I pressed on on my own not sure if I was on the right road, but following signs to Shrewsbury and came across the afternoon tea stop. Ed was supposed to be guiding the group into Shrewsbury and we all set off at a hairy pace through the outskirts of the town. I pedalled hard and shouted to Ed to slow down but I don't think he heard me. Anyway we all made it through the traffic to our two hotels. Mike and I were in one old hotel in the centre of town. Mike checked in gave me the key and sent me up some stairs with my heavy rucksack, whilst he sorted out his bike. I went up the stairs only to find that it was an empty hall so went back down the stairs to meet Ed who directed me up the correct stairs! Shall I go back to the cycle room first and tell Mike that his stairs are the wrong ones? Nah ... let him learn from his own mistakes I thought! He took the same detour ..oops. We were scheduled to eat at the other hotel and despite the fact we'd cycled around 90 miles Discover Adventure had booked taxis. I felt that walking would be better to loosen up, but got a lift with Ed's wife and son, who joined us for dinner.

After a good dinner and a drink or two people were talking about getting taxis back. I decided to walk - but everyone else seemed to be too tired, half crippled or scared of Friday night revellers.
Anyway I ended up in the Dun Cow pub which had an excellent band on called The Paul Parker Band, the main man being a white rasta who played a banjo like a lead guitar and a mixture of covers and their own stuff. I just had a pint and listened to their first set, talked to a local bloke about my ride and watch two stunning and rather drunk blondes dancing just in front of me! It took my mind off the cycling for a bit.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Day 3 Thu 6th May Tiverton to Tintern 98 miles

Had a good buffet breakfast then did our stretching exercises in the car park, as businessmen arrived for meetings. Today was also election day - so the towns were busy with voters. Soon after we set off on the busy A48 the heavens opened and our waterproofs were put to the test. Mine passed, but Mike found that his inside pocket where he kept his mobile got wet, and as a result his phone stopped working.

We had a coffee stop in Taunton at a polling station then carried on flat roads until a big climb over the western flanks of the Mendips to our lunch stop. Cheddar and strawberries were on the menu.
I got separated from a fairly fast group when I stopped to take off a layer as the weather warmed up, so cycled on my own for a bit, eventually meeting up with Nigel, whose son Ollie was having problems with an ankle. We had a tea stop at Gordano then had trouble finding the way over the Avon Bridge, and at one point met another group of us going in the opposite direction. We eventually asked for help from a kid in a hoodie on his BMX (or "chopper" as my brother called it). We offered him a fiver to show us the way which he accepted, but then when he found out we were doing LEJOG for charity he said add it to the collection - which was nice of him. Over the bridge we weren't sure of which way to go through Avonmouth and asked another BMX kid who took us through the town instead of the byepass.
It was getting quite late by the time we cycled over the old Severn Bridge, and we'd covered quite a few miles. We travelled along the scenic wooded Wye valley to the nice Royal George Hotel just north of Tintern Abbey pictured.
We had a good meal in the hotel and a drink or two, although I was still on antibiotics (last day) so didn't want to drink much (the medicine didn't say avoid alcohol though so I had a pint).

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Day 2 Weds 5th May Liskeard to Tiverton 84 miles

Today was supposed to be the hardest day of the trip over Dartmoor. Fortunately the weather was fine and sunny and not too hot, although the forecast was for possible showers on the moor and there was a north east headwind. We wen't through our usual routine of an alarm call at 6.30am, cooked breakfast at 7am, followed by a few words from the team leaders (like don't forget to have waterproofs handy on the moor), then meet by 8am by the vans with luggage and stretching exercises. One van carried our 'day bag' which we could access at lunchtime and the other van carried our overnight bag, which did the morning and afternoon 'water stops' or 'coffee and afternoon tea' as I prefer to think of them.
We stopped for coffee by the side of a church in Tavistock (Mike in red pictured right) before our ascent up hills over Dartmoor. The incline wasn't too bad and we made it up relatively easily - although I was glad of my 'granny gears'. Mike's right knee was suffering a bit by then, having overdone it a bit on the first day - him being the more competitive one of us brothers. My knees were ok - and my sore throat had pretty well gone, although I was still on antibiotics and had quite a chesty cough, which I think was making me a bit more tired than usual. We got to know the team members a bit better either when cycling two abreast or at stops. However Mike's habit of chatting whilst riding up hills wasn't that popular with some, and he took the hint!

Picture to the left is of Eddy being followed by Alice. We had some nice rides over Dartmoor by the Prison (where DA Kenny used to be Governor ..or was he an inmate?), then onto our lunch stop of hot food, possibly pasta, that Kenny would make in the morning after shopping at a supermarket. Devonshire cream buns were on the menu I think, and it was mini Cornish pasties the previous day. After lunch there were a few more hills in rolling Devonshire countryside before we tackled Exeter and made it to Tiverton where we stayed in quite a good Great Western Hotel, with nice rooms and good food. That night Mike and I both had a back massage from one of Angela's friends who was providing her services (all above board I may add) for a charity donation. Kenny on the other hand was massaging legs for a free pint. The team were in good spirits after completing the so called hardest day, into a headwind without too much trouble.

Day 1 Tues 4th May Lands End to Liskeard 74 miles

We had a hearty breakfast and left Mike and Jan's house near Penzance with our two bikes on a bike rack. Arrived at Lands End to meet the others in the team who had stayed the night in St Just. We chatted and took photos near to the sign

including the photo left of the CLIC Sargent team, including Chris Martin in black on the right, who did the ride for the same charity, and Charlie's family to the left of me - in my high vis gear.

18 of us, composed of 12 men and 6 women started off (and finished) at quite a pace with the fit road bike team at the front. We were given a detailed map book and directions on sheets of A4 paper, however most seemed happy to just follow the crowd in the hope that the person at the front had read the directions and knew where they were going. Mike's work mates were going to follow us for the first 20 or so miles - but apparently they couldn't keep up with the pace! Mike and I were in the middle of the group with Eddy the brewer, Alice the army doctor and Jo ..I think. As Mike knows Cornwall like the back of his hand we got to the first coffee stop quite easily, to find that the group at the front had taken the wrong turn and gone down a big hill the wrong way adding about 10 miles to their trip!
Mike met up with some of his office and cycling mates - pictured left, then we pressed on through Redruth (although not necessarily the way DA had planned) to a lunch stop near Truro. There were some quite steep hills and Mike and I had totally different approaches to them. I get out of my saddle at when coming into the hill, cycle as far as I can like that then sit down and use a low gear to slowly get to the top, whereas Mike stays in quite a high gear all the way and is out of the saddle most of the time. I think my way is best!
Later in the day I decided that I didn't fancy trying to keep up with the fast pace of cyclists who seemed to be treating it like a race or endurance test from the start, so I dropped back a bit, and had my own Mars bar and pee stop before continuing on the A38 dual carriageway to Liskeard on my own, passing the turn off to the town as told and going on to the Premier Inn.

Mike it seems was leading a party of the 'fast team' and ended up going into Liskeard and getting a bit lost! Although one reason for this was that Lewis, our youngest and fittest member of the team had taken the wrong turn, and he thought they ought to follow him. Lesson for the day "more haste less speed".
The hotel was ok, although a bit noisy next to the road when you had the windows open. I was sharing a room with my brother probably for the first time in 30 years. We had hearty meals and a drink or two, although most of the team at that stage seem to be opting for soft drinks.