I’ve done it!
Thank you so much all of you for sponsoring me – I honestly couldn’t and wouldn’t have done it without you!
I completed the 56 mile ‘viking bike ride’ (now affectionately known as ‘The Long Slog’), in 7 hours and 50 minutes or thereabouts. To be honest I only looked at the clock three times throughout.
It was already raining by the time I arrived at the Viking Ship, near Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate and after driving around to find the driest patch to park, managed to find the wettest.
I started the ride at 9:30am and the route took me through Ramsgate and around the edge of Kent, following the Viking coastal trail. I was already soaked by the time I got to the first checkpoint at Joss Bay. It was still raining and I continued around the Thanet coastline where the wind was so strong in places I was almost cycling backwards at one point.
As I reached the second checkpoint at Reculver my legs had gone but the thought of changing my soaked trainers at home in Whitstable spurred me on. A new set of dry bottoms, shoes and socks and a quick cup of coffee later and I was back on the road following the Crab & Winkle trail to Canterbury. It had stopped raining and the wind had stopped and now I was boiling hot.
After Canterbury the route went through some woods and some near-knee deep flooded fields = yippee, shoes now even more soaked than before. My morale was boosted by group of cyclists that kept passing through the duration of the ride as they kept getting punctures. The route was now all country roads for the rest of the way and I was able to step up a gear to try and make up some time. The roads throughout the heart of Kent were annoying as I knew the winding route made me keep backing up on myself, but it was the signpost for Sandwich ‘2 1/4 miles’ that made me smile for the first time. I could finally quantify the finish line and so onwards to Sandwich and then back to Pegwell bay. (The puncture ridden cyclists pipped me by a mile but I was glad that they made it.)
So there you go – another challenge completed and more money raised for British Heart Foundation, so THANK YOU again for your generosity. I’m overwhelmed, elated and knackered all at the same time.
ps – Anyone reading this who hasn’t yet donated can still do so for another few weeks by going to my sponsorship site here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DanJohnsonGives
Update: So far over £100 raised for the British Heart Foundation!