Monday, 3 June 2013

Day 8 - Hereford to Taunton

This is Tom and this is my first time as blog writer (maybe my last ;-) ) and im more nervous than I was about the whole ride. Ill start by telling you that next week is a year since Gracie was born and as you know she died 19 days later; so a 100 mile ride was great time for reflection on the year; I know Gracie and Chloe were looking down on their daddy today and were very proud. Its this same enchanted pride I have for these wonderful people I am sharing this amazing adventure; each on shares lots of love form every corner of my heart and I thank you all for being yourselves. Truly amazing. 

So now for the days events.. well after Team B (mainly just me) winding up Team A at dinner last night the gauntlet was set; and team A had tiger eye form the get go. Team C looked usually relaxed and with our new team member for the day Gavin White team B set off… well after wed picked up Daws aka Wiggo from the bacon butty stand in Sainsbury’s… After we had left some kind people had heard Daws chatting with his mum and dad (the Lovely Liz and Tony) about the GBSS charity and were kind enough to throw in some cash for the cause, so thank you to Mr Jim Deboick and Mr and Mrs King. 

Ok so we hit the road.. on this occasion team B were being navigated by Gavin’s Garmin which had us lost after 200 yards so we were caught by the A team, who not only kindly fixed the garmin but then carried us on their backs for the next 30 miles.. this my friends is what friendship is all about…I was beaming with pride watching our seven man peloton flow past Monmouth and through the Shropshire hills alongside the river Wyss (for me one of the most beautiful places I have seen on the trip)
30 miles in and a pit stop was in order as Team B were showing the pains of 700 miles over the last 7 days.. so where better than Tintern Abbey to stop ... wow . a true little gem that frankly most of us had never heard off.

30 minutes later fuelled by cheese butties, coffee and multiple cakes we were off… only to find we had new race leaders.. Team C had side swiped the seven man peloton showboaters and were driving on to Chepstow with the wind at their back.

By the seven bridge the seven man peloton had used their advantage and snook ahead… but then ….NOOOOO .. a Problem and two men fell of the back Wiggo and Froom Dog were now out of the peloton and realised they had no garmin or map and the road signs were written in Welsh… disaster hit and the Team B headed back to Wales while team A rode like demons to Bristol.


The three pelotons after a map purchase from Team B were back on track and headed through the picturesque Avonmouth Industrial estate dodging trucks and busses before traversing Bristol in a range of styles.

As the A team set down in nice country pub for lunch Team C marched through Posrtihead and for the first time Team B found support in the most unlikely of places….. Our Support Driver Colin who for the first time on the trip set us on the correct road.. the A38 to Somerset.


As the sun beat down on our now blistered skin and mucky head bands. It became clear with a bit of insight from Colin (Support God) that everyone was on the A38… obviously he didn’t know where .. so we didn’t know who was leading but we did know we were in a 50 mile sprint finish to Taunton…bring it on my mind said… behave yourself boy my legs said..thankfully daws as usual dragged me through the later part of the ride.. as we all glided through Winscombe and Highbridge in search of Bridgewater… another town that never seems to get any closer when youre 90 miles into a ride.. oh I should have said.. for anyone that thinks Somerset is flat.. its not.. and neither is any other place on the west side of Britain!!! Bridgewater done and as the B team crossed North Pettherton the Whatsapp messages were flying in thick and fast it could only mean one thing.. The A team had won the day and the Yellow jersey.. today they showed a pace and consistency which defines them as the A team..
shortly after the B team rolled in .. well actually we couldn’t be bother to go around the estate to the hotel so climbed a wall with the bikes… the C team rolled in.. quite frankly the C team today showed courage and strength between the ears that makes us all tip our hats and smile.

Well that’s it for today .. we have a nice dinner planed with friends and family and then we set off tomorrow on another bike ride.

Thank you; got to Gavin White for getting us through the morning and making the effort, Tony And Liz for fundraising, Clin for patience of a Saint…and all of our partners and children for letting u ride down the country like a gang of boys on a school trip.

Awards of the day:

Yellow jersey: Team A by Country miles

Determination: Team C.. great performance

Best Recovery: Wiggo.. second half was remnant of Istanbul 2005

If you have the time and are still reading would you mind doing me a small favour and taking a look at this petition to the Government from GBSS.. WOULD BE A HUGE HELP..

All the best T