Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Day 14 penny farthing LEJOG

We were so close to the finish of our ride now. I was exceptionally tired and looking at myself in the mirror before we left the hotel it was obvious for all to see.

While I was feeling very second hand my bike just kept absorbing the miles. We'd covered almost 900 miles and apart from some wear to the front tyre my bike looked as good as new.

When I was planning the ride I was quite concerned about how the bike would hold up but I needn't have worried. It was almost certainly going to get me all the way to the finish.

Every year hundreds of people do an end to end ride. Some go from south to north like I did and others go north to south. Today as we were nearing the end of our ride we bumped into some people who was just starting theirs, going in the other direction. One of the riders turned out to be a TV celebrity and while I looked and felt completely shattered they looked fresh and had the whole of their adventure to come.
 As our fellow end to end riders approached us they spotted my bike and stopped to say hi. It wasn't an unexpected encounter as in previous days I'd been looking on twitter to see how other people's rides were going. When I discovered there was a chance our paths would cross I sent a good luck message. They responded to this and were amazed that I was on a penny farthing.

So there you have it, I rode 900 miles to meet Fern Britton, and very nice she was too. We chatted for a while and both took some photos before cycling off in different directions.

The good weather continued, even if it was a little cold. At one point I stopped to tweet my picture of me and Fern and I also sent a message to a cycling friendly cafe in Helmsdale to check how long they were open for if we called in for food. They quickly got back to me and also asked me if we had any accommodation organised. I responded that our plan was to find a b&b close to Helmsdale once we arrived in the village. Almost as soon as I'd sent the message they replied saying they would find us somewhere to stay. This was brilliant news and it really took the pressure off for the remainder of the day. 

We rolled into Helmsdale and made our way to the cafe, the thyme and plaice, greeted us with open arms and fed us well. Soon we were being introduced to the owners of the local b&b where we would be staying. It was only about half a mile from the cafe so after a short ride, and push up a big hill, we found our bed for the night.

It was a lovely spot, high on the hill side looking out over the sea. The room was perfect and we settled down for an early night.

Day 14 was another long day, but we were now very close to our goal. The final day would also be a shorter day so hopefully we would finish in good time to be able to celebrate in style!

No comments: