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Jane’s Appeal End to End Challenge - Day 10 & 11

Jane’s Appeal End to End Challenge - Day 10 & 11

Jane’s Appeal End to End Challenge - Day 10 & 11

Saturday 19th July, Carlisle to Kirkby Stephen 45 miles We were joined by four guest riders, plus reporter Paul Ogden from the BBC, making us a party of nine. We are still awarding our virtual monkey and everybody staked a claim for winning it. After a dull and uninteresting day on Friday, Saturday was the complete reverse. A lovely couple from Scotland, Dave and Kim, joined us and unfortunately after 13 miles Kim took a tumble on a tricky descent where the road was a little greasy with the gravel covering. Sadly, she gashed her leg and needed treatment so was unable to continue. All co-riders were upset and we pass on our best wishes to both Kim and Dave. Graeme and the two support vehicles left the ride to accompany Kim to seek medical attention. Of the six riders left Paul Ogden from the BBC fell into the same trap as Harry (Gration), promising to see us later. We didn’t see him again. It’s something that the BBC seem to be specialising in – [-Censored-] bikes and no navigational sense. We stopped at lunch at Melmerby. By this stage, out of the nine of us, there were only five remaining. Don’t worry this number was to reduce further. With the inevitable delays caused by the accident and the usual BBC lost person, the day was lengthening, so the tow riders from sponsors PWC decided to make a mad dash to the finish in Kirkby Stephen. We never saw them again. Mick, Becca and I tootled along to Appleby where just after the town Becca decided that her hayfever was too bad because she couldn’t see the road. Being a youth, she’d forgotten to take her medication in the morning and wasn’t wearing her glasses. I’d like to say she wouldn’t do that again. But she will. Mick who was 100 yards ahead of us didn’t see us turn back and continued. It was surprising therefore that when we reached Kirkby Stephen that Mick hadn’t arrived. The ghost of Harry lived with Mick and he went 290 miles in the wrong direction. Not bad for someone local to the area. The day finished for us at 3pm, but for Graeme it was a solo ride and he didn’t get in until 5.30pm. Sunday 20th July, Kirkby Stephen to Settle 40 miles Today  was  set to be the easiest day of the ride, so I took advantage by going out on the lash with Jane’s brother Mark last night in Appleby and then Brough. Appleby’s Hare and Hounds had an Eighties fancy dress theme in the out and I have to say a stranger collection of costumes I have never seen. Quite what any tourist would make of it I’m not sure. It was, though, a long time since I have seen dry ice in a pub. There was a range of interesting characters from the 60-year-old air guitar hero to leg warmer-clad youths. We went back to The Castle hotel in Brough and stayed in the bar until it shut at 2.30am. Needless to say we slept well. This morning I didn’t feel too great. I thought, perhaps naively, that this would improve if I started riding. How wrong was I. When everyone stopped in Hawes for a coffee. I felt too sick so continued cycling on to Settle. The last 20 miles I rode on my own, trying to finish as quickly as possible. I managed in just the nick of time before pay back for last night was complete. I won’t be drinking again in the tour. Being in Settle obviously brings back lots of happy memories with Jane. And this afternoon I have spent five hours reliving proof reading the last 100 pages of the new book and reliving the last part of Jane’s life which has brought into focus why I’m on the bike ride. Tomorrow I have no doubt will be a sad day with the solace being that at least I will get to see Steven. Mike.

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