Sunday 27th May
I am going to start todays blog with Danny’s review of the campsite, you will see why:
“I stayed on your campsite at the back of the beer garden for one night over the bank holiday weekend. On waking to her alarm at 6am the first thing I said to my wife was “where did I put my iPad last night?.
“I must explain the 6am alarm: my wife is cycling 5000 miles around the coastline of Great Britain to raise awareness of her medical conditions, she started 3 months ago and is in her last week. I have joined her for the bank holiday weekend for the final bit of support. She has a well set routine of getting up early and getting on the road – this morning I disrupted that!
“We’d had such a good night at the Castle Inn eating, drinking and listening to the live acoustic music that I had a few drinks and was getting forgetful. I’d taken all my belongings to the campsite toilet before brushing my teeth and duly left them on the side. Happy that I’d remembered to sort myself out I trotted off to bed for a night under the stars … duly leaving all of my belongings on the side (including my iPad, phone and car keys along with some expensive cycling gadgets!)
“After an hour and a half of searching and praying I hadn’t been such an idiot and left it on the side for anyone to find, the realisation dawned on me that yes indeed I was that stupid. By this point the look on my wife’s face could have turned men to stone like Medusa and I could feel her anger growing! By this point I was desperate and clutching at straws, I called the pub in the distant hope that someone would answer. To my delight the landlady jadedly picked up the phone – step one complete. Now my fate was in the hands of kind strangers who I hoped had found my stuff and handed it in. My luck was in – I’d been dealt a pair of aces – and everything was present and correct and locked safely behind the bar! I couldn’t have been happier when the blurry eyed landlady came downstairs in her PJ’s and handed me back everything.
“Now off the kill list we could pack up our tent and get on with the 80 mile ride we had planned!
“A big thank you to whoever handed my stuff in and also a huge thank you to the Castle Inn for such a great night and a trouble free stay!”
So on the road 2 hours later than planned we had to rearrange our meeting times with others along the way and press on as much as possible so when I cycled over a drain and had a pinch flat less than 200 meters into the route this had not got off to a good start.
We reached Clacton on Sea and pulled over to use the public toilets, we were waved at rather excitedly by a local resident. He came over and asked us if we would join their local awareness cycle ride of the National Cycle route that runs along the promenade, they want to secure funding to make the cycle track more user friendly and accessible. We had a quick bacon sandwich and joined them along the front. We chatted to all of the riders and had some absolutely fantastic photos taken, I think you’ll agree.
Another puncture in my front tyre! I haven’t had any since before I entered into Scotland over 6 weeks ago! So I’ve no idea why I am being so unlucky this weekend. We couldn’t figure out what had caused it so just changed the tube.
The roads were quite busy as we assumed everyone was headed to the seaside for the day, but the majority of the traffic was very considerate.
Next stop was to meet David, another trike rider, on the road into Maldon. He had warned us that he might be a little slow but this was far from the truth and once we had met him the 5 miles into Maldon flew by! I managed to persuade him that we could get up the super steep windy hill to the high street so we could have some lunch (a very late 3pm lunch!) David is an absolute super star, he himself is disabled and finds it quite difficult to walk however on a trike he just whizzes along and made light work of the hill. Yet another true inspiration and proof of the enrichment cycling can have on people’s lives!
Nadjie, a local female Breeze Champion who has also recently done some coaching qualifications, a champion in every way in my eyes, also came to meet us as we came into town. I’m not sure she realised that we would have to go back up the hill she had just descended and had a nervous smile on her face when this became apparent.
We found somewhere for our late lunch, David treated us to drinks whilst Nadjie bought us all lunch. Such kindness! We chatted about all sorts and it was a great break after a pretty hectic day.
We still had a bit more cycling to do so after waving goodbye to David the three of us set off towards South Woodham Ferrers, again the roads were quite busy but they were very smooth and I motored along. Nadjie told us about all the rides she does including night rides! She has been avidly following my journey since the beginning sending messages of support and I am so glad we got to meet up, she is so full of life and bubbly it was a real boost.
And then… we turned up at our hotel and there was a live band playing outside, the street was full of drunk people and there was a man climbing out of a window onto the roof. Yes, Danny booked it! When I googled the hotel it appears it has been on “The hotel inspectors”! Typical! We were lied to about breakfast when we checked in and I’m not going to say any more. Our room however was clean and we managed to have a good night’s sleep.
(Next Morning) Danny and I have spent the morning planning the last week of my route. I am now not going to write any more blog posts until the end as I am going to focus on publicity. I will release a press release, if you could help me share this as much as possible over the next few days I would be extremely grateful.
(It’s ok he’s forgiven! Hopefully tomorrow will be less eventful!)