Last day’s report from London Saturday 28th July 2012

Last day’s report from London Saturday 28th July 2012

Yesterday we left Chippenham in the morning. We couch surfed with Alex, well we didn’t actually, he gave us both his bedrooms and he couched surfed in his own house! It’s extraordinary the lovely friendships we’ve immediately forged with our hosts. I think they’re probably all quite special people to open their homes to people they don’t know who are travelling, doing stuff like us etc. I hadn’t thought of offering my home in this way before the ride, but now I see what a lovely way it is of thinking about trust, other currency than money and making friendships. It’s taken the people on this journey to show me… so thank you all our amazing couch surfing hosts… We took the cycle canal route from Chippenham to Reading, which was beautiful but quite slow in terms of terrain, gorgeous with a mountain bike and all day to spare but tricky when there’s over 70 miles to go to next destination. I made the first section, then all of a sudden in the middle of the countryside, my seat suddenly fell off and screws went all over the road! At that exact moment, to within seconds, Carl drove up as he’d decided to find us rather than waiting to the next meeting point!! How amazing was that.. so Réka went on and Carl and I went to get my seat mended in Marlborough… we caught up with Réka again and Carl did a 30 plus ride with Réka. At 9.30 in fading light and still with 40 miles to go, we decided that the last day really would be saturday, so all came back to sleep in Richmond with my friend Liz… just in time to watch our first bit of tv, the opening ceremony of the Olympics.. Carl and Réka were off at 7 this morning so Réka could re-start where she finished last night. We are all meeting up at Richmond Park in an hour so that we change and ride into Downing Street for our 4.30 p.m; photo opportunity. Thanks Pru for following this up and Diane Johnson MP’s office…. We are allowed to take photos infront of no 10 and the policeman will put our bikes in a pen!
So, nearly there everyone… Réka will have completed her 1000 miles as of course we all knew she would. The rest of us have all surprised ourselves. I think I have made nearly 600 miles, which is beyond what I thought I could do and finally, finally no longer have a sore bottom when I climb onto the bike in the morning. I feel so proud to have shared this journey with Réka, her vision and commitment inspired us all. To everyone else, Carl firstly, for filming, photographing, driving, cycling and making us all laugh at the top of hills…. all the other riders… we’ll talk more about you all next week! To Chris, Réka’s husband, for his support for the ride, for coming with the boys to see Réka at a time when she was missing them so much. We’ll do all our thank you’s when we really have ended today and headed back up the M1 to Hull and Bridlington. Réka will lead Hull’s ‘race for life’ tomorrow, so we will be there to film that and on Monday, we both have consultations at Castle Hill. Réka will have another 8 hours of chemo. Speak to you again everyone really, really at the end of this amazing 15 days x x x

14 Responses »

    • You were with us in spirit Mike! You and Ian and Brian gave us new enthusiasm when you joined us in Wales…Each time new riders joined us, it was easier to carry on and your sense of fun inspired us all. I think of you zooming past me on some of those mega descents and swerving in and out of the other riders as definitely an experienced cyclist. Dread to think what would have happened if I’d tried that… I can hear your laughter too as Carl recited Racine at the top of ‘that hill!’ Lots of love

    • thank you Antonella and for following the blog throughout the trip. As one of the people who always inspires me, good to know you think ‘we believed and achieved’ although put it down on my part more to lots of luck and 3 pairs of cycling shorts all worn at the same time! Lots of love

  1. Congratulations all of you. Penny you and Carl are a pair of stars. Thank you so much for working so hard to make it all happen.
    Marseilles or bust

    • Without you Chris, absolutely none of it could have happened….. anyway we loved it… it was the biggest adventure we’ve had for ages! x x x x

    • thank you Julie for all your comments. It was lovely to finally meet you today after hearing so much about you and seeing your support for Reka x x x x

  2. Just to say very well done doesn’t seem enough. See you at the finish line (albeit after a very slow Race for Life with Hannah in tow this morning). You are magic XX

  3. You are the Olympians here. Fantastic achievement…and what memories you have collected en route. I’ll miss this blog, have enjoyed following your incredible journey. Well done all of you xxx

    • Don’t miss the blog… we’re carrying on, we’re going to tempt you all by trickling the photos out and even bits of film so you all keep logging on…. you’re right about the memories.. I’ve got so many rushing around in my head that over the next few days, have to make sense of some of my notes! Will call very soon x x x x x

  4. Penny, Reka and all the other cyclists – ´well done´hardly seems enough. What an epic and courageous ride! Thought I´d see you both cycling down The Mall this afternoon taking Gold and Silver. Really looking forward to seeing you Pen and seeing the footage and photos and of course hearing the stories. Just think, no cycling tomorrow. Tomorrow morning in bed with a cuppa will be bliss! See you soon and loads of love, Toni x

    • Tone, we were there, cycling down the Mall, just not quite in the same lane as the Olympians but having loads of fun taking over London city roads. It had to be the best day ever to cycle into London… talk about bikes ruling yesterday! Can’t wait to see you over a massive pot of tea.. see you soon… love you… Pen xxxxxxx

  5. Congratulations to all of you, what an amazing team. It was a privilege to meet you on your journey. All the best in your continuing journeys.

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