Eggs, muddy paws and mechanical issues…

By Charlie Webster

This morning seems so long ago. I remember waking up trying to boil some eggs for ages with Mick, long story, the conclusion, we ate half done eggs. We jumped on our bikes in the rain all trying to smile and crack a few jokes to get us on our way. I got the Duncan Wood horn this morning from Paul – it is my turn to give it out tomorrow. Our first miles were on a bit of a dirt track which was an old railway line; we had to go steady because of the terrain, so I had a good old chat with Paul. Our bikes did not like the gravel and that kind of set the precedent for the day. Paul and Mike got punctures and Mick got a stone stuck in his chain. This is where we met Digby! If you haven’t already met Digby then take a look at the video on my twitter. He basically ran out of a farm as we were fixing punctures and tried to hump us all, he seemed to show a bit of unwanted favoritism to me. This wasn’t helped by Mike ‘Go to Charlie, good dog’ whilst he giggled away! I was covered in slaver and paw marks. Digby was absolutely massive and so strong. We couldn’t stop laughing despite stinking like dog. I had paw marks all over my back!

The rest of the day was long and windy. I found parts of today pretty hard mainly because of the strong head winds. We pushed on to a late lunch and you could tell we were all feeling it as not one of us was talking. The village before lunch was on the Tour de France and that is where I really started to feel my head go purely because I was having a bit of low sugar moment. The next 14 miles to lunch felt so long and I really had to dig. I should have had a gel, lesson learnt. When I eventually saw the next village, I whispered under my breath ‘please, please, please be our food stop.’ I saw Shiv at the top of the hill by a church waving, what a relief. I lied on the floor wolfing a sandwich down as quickly as I could. There were a lot of hills today and very long sweeping roads that just seemed to go on forever.

At this point we had 36 miles out of a 100 to go. We flew for 18 miles of this until Paul’s chain snapped. My left shoe cleat had also broken and kept coming out of the pedal. We all pulled up at the next village to help Paul try and sort his chain. I wasn’t much use so I just sat on the tarmac shouting moral support. I literally could have fallen asleep then. I felt gutted for Paul, as it is so frustrating when something happens like a mechanical which isn’t under your control.

18 miles to go and knowing we weren’t far from the end we really pushed, myself and Mick got a little lost as my Garmin died but the amazing support team found us on the side of a roundabout looking sorry for ourselves. We followed them in for the last 3 miles and collapsed. Long day! Please turn the wind machine off for tomorrow’s 114 miles or at least turn it in our favour. Thanks.



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