Started the day yesterday with a lovely ride up to lunch at the mountain cafe. Met up with Mike and Chrissie there; this was Mike’s last ride with us. It has been such a pleasure having him, Ian and Brian with us and meeting Chrissie and Debbie. Our second swim of the ride, water lovely and cool on a hot day… Rita, Reka’s sister, got her ride in at the end of the day and cycled with Reka into Cardiff. It was Pru and Toddy’s last ride too. Hard to believe they were going home. We have had an intensive week and from being strangers have shared emotionally and physically intense moments constantly, so friendships have developed very quickly. Pru has been caring and considerate throughout the week and riding much more than she thought she would. Toddy has been great too… checking our bikes, giving me much needed cycling tips and support. We have all laughed and worried and felt the sunshine and the height of the hills…. Everyone left this morning after our photo shoot and interviews at the hospital…. thank you Cardiff Velindra Centre for Cancerl for your lovely welcome and for your openness. We had a second interview with the Head of Services at the Penny Brohn Cancer Care Centre in Bristol this afternoon. Everyone agrees that the benefits of sustained and consistent exercise during cancer diagnosis and treatments are undisputed… Wales is introducing a national exercise referral scheme from the Autumn for people with a cancer diagnosis. There is still so much more to do in terms of awareness raising…. Reka and I are beginning to think of what we can do when we get back. A new awareness has to be more accepted down from the oncologists and surgeons to specialised nursing staff etc. No one really says how much better you’ll feel even if you just have a walk in the park, rather than the standard advice which is to take it easy and be kind to yourself. Cancer cells hate oxygen and exercise….
I had a special evening yesterday aswe stayed with my lovely friend Ruth, who was waiting with empty washing machine, hot water by the bathfull and dinner….. we showed her moments of the film and she came with us to meet the rest of the riders this morning.. It was a brief but very happy reunion…. Reka said goodbye to the boys and Chris, but only until Saturday. We will deliver her back to them on saturday evening. I have only ridden for the first part of the day today… I seem to have developed a wobbly stomach and a bit of sickness, probably a mixture of too much heat and the fatigue that is gradually coming over us now. Carl is riding with her now and I am waiting for them in Bath, before our last ride to Chippenham. So hard to believe tomorrow will be our last real ride. On Saturday, we will cycle into the city and finish at Downing Street…. we will do lots of publicity shots for the ride! Reka just keeps going, encouraging us, understanding and focused on completing this extraordinary journey. I was watching her ride today and just felt so full of admiration and respect for her…. she will hate me saying that, she says it’s just the way of living that she understands. We are questioning ourselves less now about the ride and why we embarked on this adventure I think as we engage with more and more people who have the same ideas as us about exercise and cancer management…. but we are tired now… Reka won’t let herself be tired until saturday afternoon…. so I am trying to do the same. What a journey! Safe home everyone who left us today….. Chippenham to sleep tonight….
It will be day 15 tomorrow of riding…. can’t quite believe it really!