Friday, 3 October 2008

Looking back at LEJOG- A review of our ride.





Between us we took a lot of pictures but I can only show a few to give you a flavour of the ride.



1)Bikes on the Severn Bridge.
2)Bikes in the room at the Premier Inn.
3)A rare sunny moment before the rain.
4)At Shap with Alyson van Raalte.
5)Dave doing a minor repair to one of the bikes.

I think that I can speak for the rest of the team and say that none of us would have missed this trip for the world. I know that it is a cliche, but some trips can change your life or at least your view of it. This LEJOG trip has had a profound effect on each one of us. None of us will ever forget it! We worked really well as a team in order to ensure that each one of us made it to the end. The support that was given to us from the most unexpected quarters was overwhelming as was the sense of total disappointment at the lack of support from areas where we had every reason to expect it!!
The ride has taught us as much about other people as it has about ourselves.
People who we met along the route- people who did not know us -took an interest in our ride and contributed to the Dorset Kidney Fund. What does that say about the kind of people they were? People such as Alyson van Raalte(shown in picture 4 above) who we met at Shap and Suki Sangha the owner of the Indian restaurant in Dunoon where we had a meal.
The ride was tough and not helped by the run of bad weather that seemed to follow us up the country. Due to the bad weather we only managed to camp out on four nights. But the need to dry out properly after 100 mile days meant that we also mixed in Hotels, B &Bs and even a Self catering Farm House.
The bikes were the real stars not giving us any major problems over the entire ride. John had three punctures in one day and this led to a complete change of tyres. Johns original tyres were replaced with Shawalbe Marathons with puncture protection. Gareth and I were using Continental Sport Contact tyres and these gave us no problems at all. One of my pedal cages fell off a few miles after leaving Shap but the Superstar of the trip Dave Vaughan fitted it back on in no time at all (picture 5 above).
Every LEJOG cycle trip should have their very own Dave! Dave was the mechanic. Dave was the Domestique. Dave was Broom Wagon driver. Dave was Logistics manager. All we had to do was spin pedals but Dave seemed to do everything else. Dave was in every sense of the word a Super Superstar. Thanks for everything Dave.
During the ride we each burned in excess of 55,000 calories over the 978 miles that we covered.
We consumed between us over 75 malt loaves. 125 energy bars. 3 tubs of energy drink powder and gallons of water. Our average speed over the entire ride was 13.14 mph and the time spent spinning the pedals was just over 74 hours.
As for our fund raising efforts - as I write this we have raised over £4,000 and it is still rising. Not bad when you consider that our original target was £2500

The fund raising page will remain open until the 9th November 2008 just go to www.justgiving.com/revproteamride

Would we do it again ? Well probably not LEJOG. Once done it becomes yet another adventure to tick off. However we had only been in the vehicle for about two hours on the return trip when talk came around to "What shall we do next"?
I will let you all know when the next cycling challenge is set!

Special thanks must go to the following:

ASDA at CASTLE POINT BOURNEMOUTH for supplying our special nutrition requirements.

COOPERS cycle shop in SHREWSBURY for sorting out John's tyres and inner tubes and getting him back on the road in double quick time.

THE BOMBAY INDIAN RESTAURANT- DUNOON- The owner/manager Mr Suki Sangha is a true gentleman.

Also I would like to mention some of the places we stayed:

PRESINGOLL FARM caravan and camping park-ST AGNES

BETTY COTTLES - OKEHAMPTON

THE PREMIER INN - HEREFORD

NEW ING LODGE - SHAP

CRAIGIEBURN GUEST HOUSE - DUNOON

THE LYN LEVEN GUEST HOUSE - LYN LEVEN BALLACHULISH

THE SEAVIEW HOTEL - JOHN O' GROATS

The BIGGEST thanks of all must go to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU who have supported us and donated to the DORSET KIDNEY FUND.

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