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7th Leg - Newcastle to Glasgow - Part 1
The Newcastle team started on Saturday 19th May. The challenge was to get to Hawick, at which point, the Glasgow office would take over.
The start – Newcastle Team at the Newcastle Office.
Dave Parsons, Josie Dakers, Ignacio Ferrer, Michael Orr and John Stonehouse.
Dianne Parsons was once again our support.
Forgot the “support dog” Kodi.
Our support – Dianne and Kodi.
The others headed north to Carter Bar. The plan was, once at the top of Carter Bar, John would ride towards Knowesgate (25 miles) to the point where Ignacio and Josie would ride to, and Dave Parsons and Mike Orr would ride from the top of Carter Bar to Hawick (16 miles) being picked up by Dianne and brought back to Knowesgate where John was to buy lunch and drinks!
I’m sure if we had any rules, that travelling in the wrong direction would not have been allowed however, always one for time efficiency (yes even on a Saturday!), John thought we could be finished in a fraction of the time covering all of the distance required by doing it this way. So he thought!!!
Ignacio and Josie had biked through Gosforth and picked up the Reivers Cycle Route at Burradon.
Still having fun and looking forward to lunch.
Ignacio and Josie then travelled to Ponteland (13.5 miles). Lots of mud and puddles and the tree roots had produced huge mounds in the pathway so quite a bumpy ride ahead.
Ignacio advised that they were making good time.
The golf course was on the left and shots were being fired on the right. Josie was thinking she didn’t just need a helmet but, a bullet proof vest!
Still having fun.
At this time (just before 12 noon) John, Dave and Mike were at the top of Carter Bar.
Still in England
All smiles at the moment.
Few seconds later in Scotland – Wow
Temperature was very cold so they decided not to hang around or show their legs so it seems!
12.00 noon And they are off! – Hold on, John appears to be going in the wrong direction!
John had a plan – as long as the whole route was covered, it didn’t matter which way he went. Downhill felt better than up!
So, John headed off making his way to Knowesgate which was downhill for the first few miles but, he did have one or two steep hills nearer to Knowesgate. He just kept thinking about the pub which was the meeting place for everyone and the pint (or 2) he would have when he arrived, and that kept him focused.
John arrived at Knowesgate at 1.45pm after having pedalled for 25 miles and headed straight to the bar. Once he got his pint sorted out he waited for Josie and Ignacio to turn up which he thought would be soon having set off at 10.30am – Wrong, he waited and waited having sank his first pint.
In the meantime, Dave and Mike headed off in the right direction towards Hawick.
After travelling about half a mile down the road, Mike got a puncture and Dave oblivious to this, carried on for another mile before turning back to see what the problem was.
Mike’s spare inner tubes were in the support vehicle and he did not have Dianne’s number, so had to wait until Dave got back for Dave to ring her. (Dianne was still at Carter Bar walking the dog).
Took 2 men half an hour to fix it as their hands were so cold (well that’s what they said!)
Josie & Ignacio - Darras Hall.
Still having fun.
Ignacio checking the route.
Josie & Ignacio in Stamfordham 21 miles. Bit eerie going through this village. There wasn’t a person to be seen however, there were scarecrows everywhere! Witches, babies, ghosts were dotted around the village.
Not sure Josie was supposed to be in this picture with the sign – or maybe she was Ignacio!
Ignacio with scarecrow Stig.
Some say he thought it would be an easy ride!
Josie with scarecrows Bill and Ben.
Mike and Dave passed through Chesters which was roughly their halfway mark and were in good spirits after the puncture incident. (Only had one more spare so hoping it wouldn’t happen again but as Mike had only been out on his bike 4 times prior to the Clancy ride and had suffered 2 punctures now, the odds weren’t good).
After Stamfordham Josie and Ignacio got back on the bikes and seemed to come to hill after hill. Each small hill became a huge one and each big one seemed impossible but, both Josie and Ignacio refused to get off the bikes.
Travelled to Fenwick, Matfen and headed to Ryal..
The hill up to Ryal seemed impossible. Ignacio the athlete (and expert spinner) seemed to be zipping up this one but, when at the bottom, the top could not be seen. Josie pedalled and Ignacio waited for her screams as when she thought she had made it to the top, it actually began to climb again! At the top of this one, both Ignacio and Josie had terrible cramp which stayed with them until the end of the ride.
Dave and Mike arriving into Hawick, where just a few more yards along the road the support vehicle was parked and a sign saying “Welcome to Hawick” awaited them – except they just kept going and decided to head for the Town Centre.
Hello – Goodbye Dianne!
Dave & Mike found somewhere with a sign on saying “Hawick” –Typical, thinking of their stomachs, but decided to wait as lunch was on John at Knowesgate. Bad move boys – you didn’t know how long you would be waiting!
Mike and Dave decided to cycle back the mile and a half they had just cycled, to get the “Welcome to Hawick” sign in the picture.
2.00pm - 2 hours later and about 16 miles in distance (plus about 4/5 miles extra with going into and out of Hawick and the puncture incident), the bikes were loaded up and all headed off to Knowesgate. 1 hour drive back to Knowesgate and no sign of Josie and Ignacio – Oh Dear!! Never mind pints awaiting.
Lost!!! Josie was under the impression that the meeting place wouldn’t be long now. In actual fact, there was miles and miles to go! Ignacio insisted that they weren’t lost but just had a lot of ground to cover. So much for making good time!
Ignacio and Josie decided that they needed to get to the main road to Knowesgate. Josie’s phone was still telling her she was in Ponteland (miles away) and Ignacio’s told them to turn right at the top of the hill.
This bit was great, the first bit of downhill that had been experienced and both pedalled like mad. They both realised that they were passing signs to places that they had already been! Stamfordham and Matfen. When at the bottom, Ignacio looked at his phone and advised Josie that they had gone the wrong way and had to pedal back up the hill!!!! A few swear words were exchanged.
Once at the top of the hill (again!), Josie texted the others to let them know that they were going to be some time yet. Ignacio and Josie then took the road to Belsay. Here comes another hill!
Dianne phoned to say that everyone had finished their rides and Dave and Mike were just loading the bikes to go to the meeting place. John was already there and had already finished his first pint. John decided to look for Ignacio and Josie.
John then rang Josie (who answered whilst riding up another hill) and the conversation probably sounded like something off “When Harry Met Sally” (yes you know the part!) John found Ignacio and Josie in around 15 minutes and said that he would put Josie’s bike on the car and she could finish there as she had biked last week. Both Ignacio and Josie were totally deflated and energy levels were at zero but, both were unwilling to give up. They followed John to the main road. Josie really lagging behind now and desperately needed a comfort break and had done for the last 15 miles!
John advised 6 miles to go to the meeting place on main road and they decided to push on. Comfort break taken by both – not prepared to say where but, involved nettles!
Ignacio made it first and Josie was well out of sight. Note the finishing line was on yet another hill!
You can see the pain on Ignacio’s face. Dianne had to rub his leg on the finishing line ?
Here she comes!
The finishing line!
43.87 miles - 5.5 hrs later and 18 miles more than anticipated.
Ignacio wanted a few beers for the pain to go away. Josie wanted to be sick. Both were in so much pain. Both agreed that what started out as fun, turned into the hardest thing that they had ever done!
Lunch turned out to be evening meal but, this week Josie made sure she got a Cider!
Collective time = 9.25 hrs
Collective distance = 85 miles
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