The Travelblog

Day Seven: Chorley to Harmer Hill

Stats for the day:

  • 82 miles cycled at about 15mph
  • Total ascent 2,600 feet
  • Free lunches - 2 (meat and potato pies kindly provided by postmaster somewhere near Lymm, a former end-to-ender himself - he did it on foot over 30 days!)
  • Calories consumed - loads - starting to lose interest in this stat.  I thought I’d lose weight on this ride, but I’m eating so much that this isn’t happening.  Standard routine: 1) fill bike bag with food; 2) pedal furiously for 25 miles; 3) eat all the food; 4) refill bag with food and repeat
  • Saddle sore status: back down to 3 for Andy (regime of Lanacane for preventative, Sudocrem for treatment is working well).  I think Charles may have got to Hoss level by now, mainly because he has worn away his saddle and is sitting on a metal saddle stem
  • Unprovoked small dog attacks - 2
  • Flies ingested - 17,500 (est)

Charles and Andy cycled from Chorley to Harmer’s Hill (near Baschurch on the original route, north of Shrewsbury).  It was a hot day and they were tired by the end of it, having cycled at full speed to get to the destination because of the drama experienced by Steffi and Cara in relation to the support vehicle.  Today’s blog is not about cycling, but about the sad demise of a once proud support vehicle.  Steffi’s account follows...

“Today was a very bad day for the supporters, with a few tears shed.  I wasn’t in the best of moods at the start of the day, only having slept for a few hours, and then discovering I didn’t know the final destination for the day.  I was supposed to be meeting Charles’ family for a relaxing day free from support duties.

The situation got worse when, having found out the destination, the GPS disagreed with the map and took me further and further away from the destination (26 miles became over 50).  A few tearful calls to Andy followed, and I cursed the fact that this bike ride is happening in Britain rather than Germany.  The place names mean nothing.

Then when I thought I was making decent progress at last, the car stopped accelerating beyond 60mph, then 40mph, then eventually came to a juddering halt 7.5 miles away (if the GPS can be trusted, that is) from the destination.  Called the AA, waited for the AA, then got towed to a local garage where they tried to diagnose the problem.  First they took 90 minutes to drain the fuel tank - they thought the problem might be contaminated diesel.  Then the cause of the problem became a little clearer when the mechanic (Steve) tried to turn the engine and the turbocharger blew, leaving a flood of engine oil spilling out and threatening to engulf large parts of south Shrewsbury.

Eventually Cara and I reached the hotel 7 hours later than planned, having spent our “day off” getting sunburnt and dehydrated standing next to the car by a busy trunk road.  Needless to say, my mood hadn’t improved as the day went on.  I have to thank Paul from the AA, who stayed with me through all of this, and kept me sane.  He got the mechanic out to open up a garage that was already closed, having realised that towing the BMW back to Newark wasn’t an option.  Also thanks to Laurice, who helped get us and our large amount of luggage back to Harmer Hill.  Cara and Serena eventually got to play, but it was a lot later than they’d hoped.”

To view pictures of Day Seven click here


[Home] [Route] [Preparation] [Travelblog] [Day 0] [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] [Day 7] [Day 8] [Day 9] [Day 10] [Day 11] [Photos (Part 1)] [Photos (Part 2)]

at JustGiving

Press Coverage:

Thanks to Premier Inn who help us to keep our expenses down!!!