Saturday, 22 May 2010

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.

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