Published On: Thu, Sep 20th, 2012

Day 7: UK’s Longest Bike Ride 113 miles, 3 days to go!

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Day 7 was tough.  It rained all day for 113 miles straight.  Originally they had a scenic route planned to go from Gretna Green to Stirling but the weather was so terrible that they took a more direct route along main roads.

Kate says that she could barely see most of the route as she was wearing protective glasses to stop the grit from the road from flying into her eyes.  They are cycling about six inches apart to keep in the slipstream of the bike in front.  This helps push their average speed up and on long straight stretches they are averaging about 20 miles per hour.  It also means that they have to concentrate very hard: if the bike in front slows suddenly or swerves to avoid a pot hole they could have a multiple bike pile up.

The vibrations from the road surface have completely numbed her hands so that she has very little movement – she needs help in doing up all her zippers and when they stop she cant get the iPhone out to halt the Cyclemeter – this means that the battery is draining faster and so we are not getting all the GPS updates for the final 20 miles.

Bob the bike mechanic has been fantastic.  She has had two flat tires recently and when she stopped Bob would bound out of the van, take off her wheel, replace it with another wheel and before most of the team have noticed she was back on the bike and able to catch up.  Given the fact that she can barely move her hands, doing her own flat tires would be almost impossible.

Interestingly, she says that she is feeling fitter than ever.  Her bad ankle seems to have miraculously gotten better and after advice from Dr Fred her swollen knee has recovered as well.  A number of the team are still in real pain with knee problems being a major issue.

Overall, the team has been fantastic.

The video below shows the route that they took today.  Music is Fields of Gold by Sting – one of the songs that Kate and I used to listen to whilst at Cambridge.  Please help sponsor Kate by donating!  Click HERE.  

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