13th July 2009
What a day yesterday (Sunday) A mixture of stress, laughter and soreness but finished off very well.
It all started with my grandson David turning up at 7.15am instead of 9.15am for the bike ride, and at this stage we were still looking for transport for the main event. Then Tommy who was picking us all up at 10.30am to take us to Padiham for the training bike ride called at the car boot before coming here got back to his vehicle to find some plonker had blocked him in.
So I put the cycle carrier on our Maudes car to find it didn’t fit. Anyway to cut a long story short Tommy turned up in his bus and I was amazed that it had 9 seats and could fit all 5 bikes in with still loads of space.
During our conversation on the way to Padiham Tommy said he was almost certain he could arrange for us to borrow this vehicle he even went as far as to say Chris don’t worry you WILL have transport. (FANTASTIC).
We arrived at our destination had a coffee and a chill out then we set off along the canal at 12.45pm which wasn’t bad. We originally planned to be on the canal for 12.00pm.
After about 10-15 mins cycling Mark realised he had a problem with his bike believe it or not his forks were fitted back to front, after taking the Mickey out of him we dug out the tools and had him up and running again within 10 mins.
The tow path was great to cycle on for approx 3 miles and then in parts there was just grass and pot holes. Mark and Danielle were in front and had disappeared out of site. Then there was David and myself, Ray was at the back. We had just come under a low bridge but just after the bridge there was a pot hole so David and I stopped to wait for Ray to come under the bridge.
At this point David was looking in front along the towpath and I was watching for Ray coming under the bridge, I saw him come under the bridge shortly after he then hit the pot hole which through him off his bike and what I thought was into the canal then at this stage over the reeds I saw two legs come up in the air and then disappear. I said. David quick. as I threw my bike to the floor. I ran back to Ray who at this point had landed on a very thick bush of reeds and was holding onto the side, David and I managed to grab his hands and get him back on to the towpath. The very strange thing about it was I have never seen reeds so thick and these saved Ray from going full blown into the canal. When we realised Ray was o.k. he said No harm done, I said yes there is, he said why. I said my blinking camera was in my bag.
(This has brought in a new rule: No Rider to be left cycling on his/her own).
We had more laughs along the way but none a funny as Ray trying for an early swim. We reached Botany Bay ay Chorley and it was here I started to have problems with my Left peddle, the bolt holding it had come loose and we didn’t have a proper box spanner so we could only nip it up with the tip of a normal open ended spanner. This proved useless and we had to stop every 5/600 yds to nip it up again. At one stage the peddle fell off completely but I could see ahead there was a bench so being clever I thought that I would ride with one peddle for such a short distance but when I tried this the chain came off and I nearly did myself a personal injury.
Whilst Danielle, Ray and myself chilled out on the bench eating sandwiches and drinking coffee. Mark and David said they would take my bike over to the boat yard across the other side of the canal to see if they had a spanner, Mark and David returned some 15 minutes later they had not had any luck. I was now out of the bike ride. I rang Julie (My Mrs) to come and pick me up. I told the rest of them to leave me and get going. But I was considerate I told them I would call at bridge 63 and have a pint whilst I waited for them to make sure they were o.k. (I cannot right on here what there comments were).
I decided not to wait on the bench I would nip my peddle up and ride along the road to meet Julie. Being clever I used my left peddle just to bring it round and my right foot did all the work, my right knee started to ache but I carried on. This proved a bad mistake because later when I got to bed that knee gave me some stick and kept me up half the night.
Anyway Julie eventually picked me up and we went to bridge 63 and I sank a couple of Guinness. When the others arrived they all had a cold drink and from here on left the canal and cycled on the road. I rang them a number of times just to make sure they were o.k.
And a special well done to Ray (who has not been doing his training) but managed to complete the training ride. !!!!!WELL DONE RAYMONDO!!!!!
This is is just one AFTERNOON of events. Whats in store for the main event??????????????
Pleased to announce David Barr is now a qualified First Aider.
We leave Wigan for the sponsored bike ride 1 week on Thursday.