End of the road: A – B Bike Ride

Laura Cooke, all set for Day 5

Well it’s finally over.  Everybody made it.  And a phenomenal amount of money has been raised for charity.  A fantastic ‘well done’ to all the cyclists and to all their colleagues who have been working so hard to raise money for sponorship and for Community Week.

Later on we’ll have some photos from the finish line, and details of a special  awards ceremony which took place, but in the meantime, Ian tells us how the final day Friday – Day 5 went:

“Every night throughout the week we managed to book a conference room or a lock up place to store our bikes overnight. On our last stopover however, the hostelry in question didn’t quite understand how this was meant to work.  So apparently there was no room at the inn for our bikes.

Plan B was to book one of the bedrooms for the bikes and store them in there.  A simple solution one would think? Kerrie Colford went to reception to book this room.  But the receptionist wouldn’t confirm the booking until it was received by email.  Very bizarre, as  Kerrie was standing right in front of him! Kerrie then walked into the car park, typed an email on her blackberry, pressed the send button and walked back to the receptionist.  The receptionist then confirmed that he had now received an email confirmation to say that it was OK for Kerrie to have the room!  A model of efficiency!

All the bikes were then marched to the bedroom to spend the night together – I hope nothing dubious happened when the lights went out.

On Friday the day was bright and we had an early start at 8am to head off to Norwich. Although it was only 34 miles to Norwich, we didn’t ease up the pace, not dropping below a speed of 20 miles an hour for about a 7 mile stretch – just to make sure we were not going to have an easy day for day 5.

We met up as a complete group in Norwich about a mile away from the Bertrams offices and after Mark Charlton finished his coffee and ice-cream, we cycled in convoy into the Bertrams car park.

We all made it, no dropouts, no major injuries to stop anyone from continuing – a great success by anyone’s measure I think.

We were greeted by 40 or 50 members of staff clapping us as we rode into the car park, including Mark Cashmore and the local MP for Norwich. After a couple of speeches, we had a BBQ lunch, beers and drinks.

Mark Charlton reaches California, completing a coast to coast route

For some of the group, time constraints meant that the journey for them finished there  –  which was the official end of the bike ride.  However there was an opportunity to travel over to the coast at California, which was another 20 miles or so.

California's coastline

We set off once more, this time for our final journey over to the beach. Again the pace was quite quick and a sprint finish towards the end. I won’t say who won, but Mark Charlton came a very competitive second, but then he took great pleasure in taking his bike into the water with him and waving it in the air for a congratulatory round of applause from his family, while the rest of the tourists looked on in wonder. Dipping your toes in the water wasn’t compulsory, but it was fun and sealed the end of the week of riding our bikes.

Thanks to everyone for following our adventures on this site and to everybody who’s sponsored us.”

About smithsnews

Communications Executive
This entry was posted in Cycling, From A to B, Sport, Team Events. Bookmark the permalink.