WE’RE NOT QUITTERS, BUT…
We woke at 6.45am to the sound of Bruce and looked at the weather forecast. It wasn’t good – heavy rain forecast for most of the day, a temperature of 10 degrees, but feels like 6 and all this accompanied by strong winds
By now we’ve got our morning routine off to a fine art and went onto automatic pilot. Disconnecting the 7 items we’d had charging overnight, gathering the washing that had been drying, packing appropriate items in appropriate coloured holdalls and IT kit, mass of chargers and cables and the Big Road Atlas into the sturdy Sainsbury’s shopping bag.We piled everything into the car for a quick pedal off this morning and then had the free of charge breakfast, negotiated by Jackie yesterday. We’d identified the North Wales seaside town of Rhyl as our early lunch stop, where Jackie informed us we’d be joined by our friends Jock and Linda. We were hoping to reach our final destination in good time this afternoon so that we could get all our tasks completed before dinner, get a good night’s sleep and be on top form tomorrow, when we’re being joined by friends and family on Snowdon.
When we pedalled off from the hotel there was some light drizzle, which rapidly turned into constant, heavy rain. We followed a route on a B road, avoiding a busy dual carriageway heading into Wales. However, our B road turned into a ‘National Cycle Route’, which suddenly became a farm track, suitable only for rugged mountain bikes. It wasn’t terrain for Rubes and Roberto. Having checked our various maps, we retraced our route, trying to find a suitable alternative towards North Wales. Time and again we had to stop, check our position on Google maps to identify which route was safe and accessible. Each time we stopped, it slowed our progress significantly and we were getting wetter and colder, even with waterproof jackets. Our gloves legs and feet were drenched. We cycled on, the weather worsening and reached the only turn available – up a busy dual carriageway. We were shivering with cold and struggling physically and mentally. We decided to cycle back to a small town to find a cafe to take refuge and take stock. We went into a mini-market to ask for help and were directed to a cafe three doors down, which unfortunately was closed. We were advised there was another cafe in the next village. We struggled on, Patrick couldn’t change gears as his Raynaud’s had kicked in some time ago and I had had enough!
At last we found a cafe, fell inside and found a warm welcome and even warmer hot drinks.
Whilst eating our toasted teacakes we discussed our options at length. It had already taken us more than 2 hours to cycle 14 miles and so we reluctantly decided to contact Jackie for help. We were feeling sorry for ourselves and too disappointed after getting this far, to phone ,and so texted.
Thirty minutes later Jackie, Jock and Linda arrived. They listened to our tale of woe and provided hugs, solace and words of encouragement.
Whilst getting back on the bikes later today really wasn’t appealing we felt we needed to do some cycling if at all possible. We’d started the day cycling and wanted to finish the same way.
Everyone lent a hand as we loaded Rubes and Roberto on the car, jumped in with Jock and Linda (as there was too much of our kit for both of us to fit in with Jackie) and headed into Wales on the North Wales Expressway.
At the Tesco store in Llandudno Junction we got back on our bikes and cycled the final few miles to our overnight stop. The smiles on the photo below belie our grave disappointment.
We didn’t feel we cheated completely as there was a long, tough hill as we left Conway and climbed up the valley. In addition Patrick’s son made the point that whilst we’re 33 miles down on today’s mileage, we did an extra 17 miles in the Lake District, so the net loss is only 16 miles. Thanks Cal!
It’s wasn’t quite the day we’d anticipated!
The love, support and encouragement from those around us and those who aren’t here, but have sent kind words, means so much to us. We also appreciate your donations to fund life saving research. At the moment there appears to be a glitch on the web-site, so whilst we can see your donations and the total is correct when we view it in edit mode, the headline total hasn’t updated today. The current figure is now £4301.50, 86% of our target. That’s fantastic! If you’re still thinking about donating you can use the link on the Home page of this web-site.
We now plan to have a relaxed dinner with 4 friends and get a good night’s sleep so we are on top form tomorrow. We’re so looking forward to meeting those of you who are joining us tomorrow on Snowdon. We will get the rest of this challenge completed and Beat Cancer Sooner!
PATRICK’S TRIVIA – CONWY
Conwy is the location of the smallest house in Britain 3.05m x 1.8m