John ‘the Shoes’ Andrew
Dan ‘Versace’ Everson
Pro Paul ‘the Mechanic’ Newell
‘Who needs to train’ Jonathan Pollentine
Adam ‘True Grit’ Quesne
‘Liahona’ Mike Siswick
Ben ‘the Fixer’ Tomlinson
Adam ‘I nearly booked the hotel’ Wilkey
and introducing, ‘King Louis of the mountains’ Wilkey
Day 4. The Castles in the sky.
Today it really was going to be flat, well except for the last little bit. And generally so it was. I have passed through Hull a couple of times and never had the desire to stay for too long, but on our journey through the suburbs we encountered some of the most fabulous houses that I have seen, rivalling some of those in Sandbanks and Canford Cliffs, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.
Over the course of the 3 previous days we had occasionally strayed off-road and today was no different. We made the acquaintance of river walks, canal toe paths and dirt tracks, some a little more challenging than others, particularly for those with highly strung bikes that are a little more suited to TdY than fell racing. Even King Louis checking out clips managed to stay upright, most of the time. Ben The Fixer continued to stalk our progress and provide whatever we asked of him. Pro Paul the mechanic mended our steeds. Versace Dan kept us going and looked great….again.
I would love to say that this was the day when the elements were with us. They weren’t. It wasn’t the rain although that did come for a short while. The wind had altered its course for the day from a northerly to a westerly, and of course we were heading west, right into the wind. So we learned how to ride in a pack and it’s surprising (to me) how well it worked. At times our plight did seem relentless, but on we rode and then we saw rising majestically in the distance above the landscape Emley mast, the tower, that landmark that we recognised as being near to home. Gradually the needle that we had originally seen grew providing strength to weary bodies as we knew that we didn’t have too much further to go. Then eventually our skyline was illuminated by the turret sitting atop of Castle Hill. Note that this landmark ends with the word HILL. King Louis flew, Adam True Grit ground his teeth and made strange noises . Onward and onward, upward and upward we rode majestically as a team to reach our final destination, hands held aloft as if we were cruising along The Champs Elysee, or that was our intention. Actually what happened was that we staggered our way to the entrance of the hill hoping to go up as a group. The road is narrow and cars kept coming down ruining our plans. We ended up threading our way through the traffic spilling into the car park.
We did have a wonderful reception committee that cheered us home giving us a rousing welcome. Not quite sure what the other members of the public thought was happening, but who cares, we had a great time and cycled 326 miles over 4 days in, at times, awful conditions. To many this may seem a trifle, but to us novice duffers (sorry pro Paul, Liahona Mike and Dan Versace, the rest of us are) it presented a good challenge, and we did it. And what for next year? I do believe we are off to the South of France. Any one wanting to join us is welcome. I think we will we doing a relay event. More to come on this.