The Road to Lord’s
As in the Tour de France you might expect the last stage to be ceremonial with low mileage and an easy day in the saddle. The Big Bike Ride was a different beast altogether. We had to complete 80 miles after four hard days of cycling, we had to do it in the wind and rain and we were on the clock. All three groups had to arrive at Lord’s before 5pm so that we could enter the Home of Cricket together. This would present no problems for groups 1 and 2 but group 3 were not getting great odds to complete the task following our earlier efforts where we were arriving at closer to 8pm rather than 5pm.
With families waiting at Lord’s to greet us we tore up the roads following a 7am start. Leader Maynard was relentless in his pursuit of the target so toilet stops were kept to a minimum and punctures were treated with disdain. We had to carry on. This greatly affected the chances of Glamorgan captain Mark Wallace who suffered three punctures and who ended up riding a spare bike just to stay in the game. We were the first group to reach lunch and the first to reach destination London – something which we enjoyed after the mocking handed out by the other two groups after the first day. Team 3 bossed the last day and proved how much improvement we made over the 5 days!
The arrival at Lord’s was emotional for a few and proved how strong the cricket family has become. It was great to see cricketers, former cricketers, administrators and businessman alike united for the name of charity. This was no easy challenge and required skill, hard work and a lot of courage which all of the riders showed in abundance. It was a pleasure to take part and to share the moment with some fine people. The PCA should be very proud for creating and managing such a great event. It has been a long five days but it has been fun, a lot of friendships have been made and a lot of money raised for two great causes. It will certainly be strange to go back to my day job, working at the SWALEC Stadium on Thursday!
Finally I would like to make a plea on behalf of my good friends, Mark Wallace and David Harrison. They require some donations to reach their target figure and having been on the bike with them for five days they deserve it. Watching Mark pound up Holme Moss on the Pennine stage with ease was mightily impressive and the help he gave to many weaker riders was appreciated. David was like a machine from the off and certainly had the biggest bike on show to accommodate his tall frame. If you have enjoyed my blogs it would be great if you could support the lads with a donation by clicking here.
As I go to bed I feel proud at what we all achieved and once my body has recovered from all of the aches and pains I might decide to get back on the bike. Have I caught the bug? Yes and that is all down to the enjoyment I have taken from the last five days.
Well done to everyone who took part and most importantly remember the reason we all took on the challenge – it’s not all about the bike!