|JOHN & I WITH 'ARTHUR'S SEAT' EDINBURGH IN THE BACKGROUND BETWEEN US|
After all the hot weather, it at first seemed like a nice cooling relief.....however by the end of that day we were fed up with riding soaked to the skin.....it could have been worse
...it could have rained every day.
|A SHORT STOP ON THE FIRST DAY|
Not so bad riding in hot weather if you can maintain a reasonable speed, but the problems occur when you come up against a stiff gradient or even a mid range gradient that just goes on and on........
|SCOTLAND / ENGLAND BORDER ON THE A68|
|JOHN APPROACHING THE TOP|
|JOHN ARRIVING AT THE BORDER|
|THE STONE MARKING THE BORDER|
While we were there we got talking to a police officer who had also pulled in for a tea break and he told us some of the things for us to look out for on the rest of our route over the next few days.....he warned us of more hills to come....some of them quite stiff gradients.
|JOHN READING THE INFORMATION BOARD AT THE BORDER.|
|EASIER TO WALK JOHN?|
Towards the end of that days ride we were both feeling the strain of all the hills.
In the picture above John has decided to walk up this hill.....
I had managed to cycle up it...just!
I should be so smug, as a few miles further along at the next steep gradient I also had to get off as well.....I would say that we were both pretty much exhausted by the time we reached that evenings campsite.....
|CAMPSITE AFTER DAY TWO'S RIDE|
At a number of them the owners/managers reduced our fees when they heard that we were riding for a charity.
The worst of the sites that we stayed at was a C&CC certificated site near Coventry. The facilities were sadly lacking with no hot water except in the shower...and no toilet paper in the loo for most of our stay.
In order to add insult to injury the owner of the site charged us £12.00 each for our one night stay....a real rip off!!
|JOHN MEETING THE WELCOME PARTY AT NORTHALLERTON|
|OUR CAMPSITE AT NORTHALLERTON|
|JOHN AND I WITH ROB|
He was on route cycling from Montrose to see his family in Leeds....
If ever there was a good advert for ordinary paper maps it was Rob.
We left the site before him and about 25 miles later we came upon this tea/coffee stall and Rob!!
Although he had left the site after us and was only using 'old technology' paper maps, he had beaten us to this point and he was riding a touring bike that was fully loaded with panniers etc.
We had Garmins on the bikes as well as various GPS and Android phones with mapping in the back up vehicle and with all of this so called new technology, we had still managed to take some wrong turns ending up with us having to turn around and ride an additional 3 miles just to get back on track.....
It was a pleasure to meet you Rob and I wish you well for the future....
|JOHN DOING A BIT OF BIKE MAINTENANCE|
The bikes both performed well throughout the ride....however during the last couple of days, John did suffer with a gear shift problem caused apparently by the fact that Specialized cross over the gear cables as they run along the down tube....
I had noticed this on John's bike some time ago and had voiced my thoughts that it might be a good idea to sort it out....
The bike had run fine until between Coventry and Oxford when John was finding it increasingly more difficult to get the chain up onto the large front gear ring.... We had failed to sort it and on the last day John popped in to a Bike shop who kindly sorted it for him free of charge.
|JOHN OBTAINING A SIGNATURE AT THE HOSPITAL IN NOTTINGHAM|
|BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN|
Completely running out of energy I found it a real struggle to carry on cycling.
We stopped at a garage shop so that I could 'replenish the tank' and I did manage to recover to some extent...
This was the first time in the years that John and I have been cycling together that he left me standing....
Looking back on the ride I know exactly what caused it....
Not enough sleep/rest between each stage and insufficient food.
I was burning up between 4500/5500 calories a day and was not managing to put back in anywhere near that amount......result....slowing to a halt!
|JOHN TAKING A REST|
|WHO IS THIS THEN...?|
|TRAVELLING THE LENGTH OF THE COUNTRY ?.....USE ONE OF THESE..!|