All donees – your messages of encouragement were an inspiration and your donations were so generous. How could I possibly fail to finish the ride when I knew you were all behind me and thinking of Karen. I would like to ask the anonymous donees to please consider letting me know who you are so I can thank you personally.
There are so many people I would like to thank for their support. However, with old age comes forgetfulness so if I have left anyone out I apologise in advance.
My cycling support team; Tony, Nat, & Viv – on the first two days Tony always had a word of encouragement ready when he could see me flagging, including such motivational lines as “now the lazy b*****d is taking a tea break and having a muffin”. Nat helped me through the tough unknown territory west of the Severn. Her calm measured response when I called to say I was lost after a long hill climb of “well you have gone miles off track and better turn back” was exactly what I needed to hear. Viv joined the team on Day 4 and demonstrated superb local knowledge of the best routes to take. If his knowledge of terrain was half as good he could get job with Team Sky. If I had a pound for every time he said “it’s all downhill from here”, only to be faced with another uphill climb around the next turn, I would be a rich man.
My training support team; Ern & Mart – the two Saturdays they spent driving to Newbury, Bath, Bristol, and Chepstow to drop me off for training rides meant I knew the route for Day 2 and most of Day 3 really well. I did all my getting lost on those training days. Mart’s driving was second to none and not all all erratic. Ern’s availability on the phone whenever I called for support was equally impressive. Meeting for lunch was a delight as I received multiple texts telling me one pub after another was a dive so they were heading to find somewhere else. Finding a pub with good beer and food is vital on any bike ride and obviously takes priority over a cyclist getting more and more soaked as the day wore on. Still, lunch was only 90 minutes later than planned so it’s a bit churlish to complain.
Alistair – for teaching me everything I needed to know about bike maintenance. I learned more about derailleur gears and slime tyres than I ever imagined was possible. I also received an invaluable tip about clothing attire and a tub of special cream to apply where the sun don’t shine in order to make for a smoother ride.
Nic – for creating this wonderful web page and posting all the updates and pictures. Also for such an amazing surprise with Dylan yesterday!
Mal – for co-ordinating and publicising the event with the Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust and for keeping me in the dark about everything else as usual.
Lynda – for hosting us in Ferndale, supplying champagne and lunch, booking a fantastic dinner, providing breakfast and giving up her bed for the night. Kipping on the sofas with Viv is really taking one for the team… and all while in training for the Cardiff half marathon in two weeks time. Go Lynda!
Rachel & Andy – for providing enough energy food and drink to keep me going for a year.
Dan – for lying through his teeth about the whereabouts of my daughter and grandson.
Taylar – for Picasso-like artwork in making the welcome poster. All colour coordinated and very impressive indeed.
Lauren, Robyn, & Izzy – for taking a 400 mile round trip on Izzy’s birthday to welcome me at the church. I think secretly Izzy wanted to see me as her extra special birthday treat.
Nick – for doing a great job with editing our story and getting the event publicised in the local paper.
Random motorist in Porth – for asking me for directions on Day 4. I was so chuffed having a welshman pull up in a car next to me in the valleys and saying he needed MY help.
All mine and Karen’s friends – for your support and encouragement. It is absolutely true to say that I could not have done it without your wonderful presents on my 60th. The bike and accessories stood up to four days of all England and Wales could throw at them.
Karen – for everything.