Monday, 1 June 2009

Bike ride to Bamburgh (and back)!

Friday saw me initiated into a band of intrepid cyclists who go by the name of "THE MEN OF STEEL".

Pictured at the start from left to right are Mark Fleming, Steve Harrison, Martin Ibbotson, Me, Jack and Ben Lavan.

These guys raised over £50,000 for The Northern Brainwave appeal 2 years ago and I was delighted to be able to join them on their latest trek from Gosforth to Bamburgh and back. This 120 mile trip over 2 days was mild in comparison to their previous rides, which was just as well considering I haven't ridden my bike since December!

The scenery was absolutely breathtaking on the way up the coast and the weather was scorching. I didn't take much convincing to have my first beer in exactly 9 months. My thirst was well and truly quenched in Bamburgh on Friday night!

One of the highlights of the trip was a stop at Mark Fleming's Aunty Carol's house where a feast of home made burgers with all of the trimmings was waiting for us. This stop was at the 108 mile point on the route and the last 12 miles were done with plenty of energy in the tummy!

Mark's Aunty Carol bought a Run Geordie Run T-Shirt as did Ben and Martin on the ride. Thanks to all 3 for contributing to the cause! Mark and Steve already have one. It was thanks to Steve really that Ben and Martin bought one. As I remember the conversation went something like this:

Me: "Hey Steve, are those t-shirts available to buy?"
Steve: "Yes, only £10 and the full £10 goes to charity."
Me: "Wow! The full £10."
Steve "Yes the full £10."
Me: "Brilliant. I might get one of those now I know the full £10 goes to charity."
Steve: "And they are available to buy tonight! Here in Bamburgh!"
Me: "No way! Brilliant! Available to buy tonight and the full £10 goes to charity!"

Once the above was repeated 20 or so times, Ben and Martin had little choice but to part with their hard earned cash. But hey, all for a good cause!

I found the ride quite tough (or at least my backside did!!) and their were some nice little climbs on the 2nd day. Energy levels were quite high throughout and the lads even let me form a breakaway without giving too much of a chase in the hills on the 2nd day. Consider my morale boosted after that! 

The downside of the ride though was that I was too tired to run yesterday. This means that I now face running 90 miles in 6 days! I got the week off to a flyer today with a 7.2 mile run at lunchtime and a 7.8 mile run after work. Thanks go to Colin Moore for dragging me round on a very hot day and helping me navigate through a twisty turny kind of a route. Patrick and Austin were in there too somewhere. They didn't hang about though!

I'm already looking forward to next year's bike ride. That will probably be my next beer too!