Sunday, 14 June 2009

Day 5 - I Can See The Sea

Waking knowing they only had a short distance before it was all over filled the team with mixed emotions. Yesterday they'd been able to really enjoy themselves and today it was all to end. With everything they needed in the bunkhouse the Team were able to set off early. Jon had been up for hours and soon had the bikes ready for the final day's ride. Enjoying the luxuries of a TV the team were well aware that rain was predicted within the hour.

Setting off it soon became clear John was struggling. With painful knees he was getting left behind at any slight incline, it was obviously his turn to have the bad day today. Stopping at the petrol station he stocked up on pain killers and the team turned on to route 14 to Newcastle. Riding side by side the team chatted away as they headed towards the east coast. The track was pretty much downhill all the way to Tynemouth, their final destination.

Cycling along the river Derwent the intrepid travellers arrived at the Tyne with Neil leading the singing of the Fog on the Tyne. As it turns out it's all mine, all mine. With a quick check of the map it was up and over the Tyne and alongside it towards Tyne Bridge. Unusually it was Neil rather than John who was keen to stop for a drink and snack. Spotting the Baltic Flour building, Neil cycled across Millennium Bridge and found the last stop before Tynemouth. With coffees and cakes in front of them, the team enjoyed a brief rest. John receiving a text from a friend who had been following their progress. Explaining where the finish line was he joked they should join them for lunch in Tynemouth.

With refreshments on board Team Pannier had one last target, to be in Tynemouth for 1. Where not only would Ced be meeting them but now Steve and Becky were on their way. Being in Tynemouth for one o'clock required them to cover 15 miles in an hour. Could their tired legs handle it? Cycling out of Newcastle and on to Tynemouth was not the picturesque journey the boys imagined. Riding through road works, tired housing and industrial estates was not what they had in mind at all. With tired legs they pedalled on, getting closer and closer to their destination. Well so they thought, the number of miles remaining went up and down as the sign posts varied.

Pulling in to Tynemouth and along side the sea the men (they were no longer boys) rode side by side. It seemed an age to reach the finish and what an anti climax that turned out to be. With only a blue sign, surely this wasn't the way to mark the end of an epic journey. In fact Neil and Rich had to call the other two back as they rode straight past the finish. With the photos taken it was down to the sea, to dip the front wheels in. There may have only been a blue sign to mark the finish but there was also a massive blue sea.

By now they had met up with Ced and he was chief photographer. Team Pannier wanting to capture the moment from every angle despite the lure of beer in the nearby pubs. Then something amazing happened, something that hadn't happen throughout the 167 miles before. They got a flat. Jon, pushing his bike in to the sea had got a puncture. Surely signifying the end of the journey, the four Yorkshiremen had done it. It was then off to the pub and, as they pushed their bikes to the car, Steve and Becky joined them. They were soon sent on their way to scout out pubs for lunch. In the meantime Team Pannier with the help of Ced loaded the bikes on to the car and cracked open the champagne. Well, the Sarah supplied Cava. CHEERS.

With that done it was on to the pub and a couple of beers, food and a change of clothes later they were back on the road. This time it was in the car and to head home. They had done it, they had climbed Skidaw, they'd cycled to the M6, twice and they'd overcome so much. Cycling 167 miles, 30 miles more than the "normal" C2C, Team Pannier had conquered the C2C+

30.61 lovely down hill miles, 169.61 (let's call it 170) miles in total, it's supposed to be 147 miles. 18 hours 37 minutes of riding, 10.7 mph average.

No comments:

Post a Comment