Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Start of Day 3: Wed 23 February

FRANK NICHOLLS: I think it's been okay apart from Rad lying about "hills". But apart from that, yeah, it's been really good. The trouble is that we had to come really far in the minibus yesterday to get back to the Youth Hostel, so we have to go really far in the minibus again again to where we start. That's why we've had to get up so early. Yes terday was tiring, really tiring - especially when Rad couldn't tell if it was uphill or downhill. For the people who've sponsored us - thanks, you've helped a lot of sick and premature babies. And if anyone else out there wants to sponsor‚ well, do go ahead !
RAD WAGON: We've done really really well on our tour so far. We've just got our last day today to come back across the flatter north side of the Island - having done the hilly part yesterday. Day one was really misty and we went very high up on a quite treacherous track, slipping and sliding all over the place - including into gorse bushes. But we did really well, despite it being rather slow and cold‚ and quite a few punctures. Day two we covered a massive distance, but luckily we had the whole day to do it and managed to get off and get going, and had a lot of fun cycling all the way up and down quite a few small climbs. And whatever some of the others might tell you about that, I'm not a liar - there've just been one or two differences of interpretation :-)
KAT ROBINSON: Day one was alright weather but then we went up this chalk cliff thing and that was really nasty. We had to cycle for miles and miles and miles up a really steep hill and all the chalk went everywhere and you couldn't really control your bike. But it was fun as well. We cycled 30 miles yesterday which was OK apart from Rad's downhil promise: he said "oh yeah, from here it's all downhill". Then we had, like fifty hills and we were like dying on our bikes and he was like "these are nothing!!" and we were like "yes they are!" Last night was really fun because everyone was sleeping in my room because we've got bunk beds and stuff. So - a bit tired today, but it should be good: we've only got to do twenty miles, apart from the fact that the weather today is not very nice. But we'll be finishing the ride, which is always a plus.
KATIE BRODERICK: It was cold and tiring but it was really fun. Sue made a really nice lunch, well actually we all made a really nice lunch, so yeah, it was fun. Day two was a lot more tiring but it was definitely worth it - I mean like nobody gave up or said they didn't want to do it anymore or anything. We did have a bit of a problem where half of us went the wrong way but we found each other again by the other road, so that was okay. Day three is going to be wet, I'm guessing. Apart from that I'm not really sure. I know the ride isn't as long as yesterday but I think it's going to be a little bit more cold! To the people who sponsored me - thanks!
VITA LERCHE: Day one was quite good, we got quite cold and wet going up, but it was a great way to start off and compared to day two it was nice and easy... Day two was really long, but I think the hills, because they were really long and not SO steep, I found them better than really steep hills which would have been harder. Today they say the wind's against us - that means it's going to be tiring for us to cycle, and I'm just hoping we can get through and do it, cos we're all pretty tired today :-(
AMANDA RANDALL: Day one was interesting and short - it was really misty and we had lots of steep climbs to do with lots of clay and bumps - Sue had an interesting encounter with a gorse bush, which was quite entertaining! Day two was long - and hills always seem to go up and never down. But it was fun, really good. Day three is looking damp but with enough chocolate bars it should be do-able!
SUE BREARLEY: Day one we did all the hard offroad stuff, so it was good to get that out of the way. Yesterday was a REALLY good day. Everybody rode really well - we did 33 miles, which is quite a lot of kilometers. The kids were all really cheerful - they all cycled really hard - everyone had a good time. Today's going to be a bt wet, so I think it might be physically a bit harder. But we've done the worst of the journey: there's only about 20 miles to go - and hopefully it's going to be reasonably flat today...
TOM ROBINSON: We've borrowed a big red Mercedes minibus from Wandsworth Community Transport, which holds all seven riders plus their bikes and packs. We've also brought our ten year old VW Caddy van as an emergency auxiliary vehicle. We're staying at the YHA at Totland Bay near Freshwater on the western tip of the Island. So I've been collecting everyone at the end of each day's ride, and driving them back to the Youth Hostel each evening, then out again next morning to resume their ride from the same point.

The four principal riders are Kat, Katie, Frank and Vita - all in their early teens - with three auxilliary adults to help navigate the route and keep them safe on their journey. I can't believe the cheerful energy of the teenagers. They sing at the tops of their voices all the way to and from every dropoff point, and last night treated us all after supper to a song and dance karaoke session followed by an energetic game of Empires (don't ask). Anyway I take my hat off to all seven riders - the cushy job falls to me: manipulating the minibus around the Island's twisty byways. Oh and spending the rest of the time editing pix and videos, then searching for an internet connection so as to be able to upload them to this blog. This usually ends up having to go via my mobile phone at glacial speed with only a couple of bars of signal. But blogwise at least we're hopefully getting there.

Thanks to everyone who's supported us so far. Do check out the link to First Touch - it's an amazing charity for an amazing unit at an amazing hospital. Despite all the meddling of successive governments the NHS is still an absolute treasure. All donations, however small, will be warmly welcome via our JustGiving page.

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