By Monique Hollinshead - 20th April 2012 7:06am
Regular readers will have read our earlier reports of Dave Cooper's and Monique Hollinshead's 8-day cycle ride from Lands End to John 'o Groats over the Easter week.
Their chosen charity for the ride was the Teenage Cancer Trust and their target was to raise £5,000.
Shortly after they had finished cycling, and on their return to Coxbank, Audlem Online asked if we could share their experience with a more detailed report than Dave's Tweets which we used in earlier reports.
Monique has now sent us a Day by Day summary which we plan to publish over the next four days. It all starts, of course, at Land's End and today's report covers their ride north to Coxbank:
I was still feeling a bit ill from a chesty cough and we were into a head wind, so I found it a bit of a struggle. We were on the main A39 road to get through Cornwall fast.
Bodmin Moor was lumpy but once off at Launceston, and after a stop at Tesco for macaroni cheese, the ride into Oakehampton and on to Whiddon Down was pleasant.
Took a very short run to the pub to check out when they stopped doing food, as we had had a later start from Land's End than planned as we couldn't skip breakfast.
Distance 106.43 miles, riding time 8.33, average 12.4mph, ascent 7053ft.
We expected to feel rubbish but this was a very good day. We were on flatter roads and with less wind.
We had a great cafe stop in Cullompton — it had framed jigsaws covering the walls, mostly of American Indians. Mysteriously one had a piece missing. My choice: Ice cream milkshake and a toasted tea cake.
In fact the whole trip has been a proper ctc (café to café) event. Lunch was at a transport cafe near Pawlett, scampi and chips and a catch up with the freakish world of Chat magazine.
In Clifton we were stopped for an energy bar break and got talking to the number one dapper gent in the entire Bristol area: moleskin camel trousers and waistcoat (bottom button undone of course), gold watch chain, brown polished brogues, Panama hat and walking cane. He stopped to ask about our pirate kit so there was mutual sartorial admiration.
We stayed at Thornbury and I got a longer run in than planned as I decided on taking an interesting looking public footpath, and being out and back averse, ended up somewhat lost.
Meanwhile Dave had gone to Tesco and was spoiling his tea by scoffing reduced sausage rolls.
Distance 104.3 m, ride time7.09, avg. 14.56, ascent 5383ft.
We met Dave's friend Ben at Gloucester train station (about 20 miles into the day's ride) as he was riding with us to home.
It rained until our stop in Kidderminster for lunch at Macdonalds. Ben slotted in perfectly with our pacing and meant we had an extra person to do 5-mile stints on the front. With big cooked meals in the evenings, this was an eating fest.
Lovely riding through Shropshire and, once we got on to recognisable roads, we could smell home and so picked up the pace a bit.
But hasn't Shifnal got a lot of pubs for such a small place? Another short run along the canal tow path at home in Coxbank, so didn't get lost.
Distance 115.92m, riding time 7.47, avg. 14.89, ascent 4435ft
More tomorrow — heading for Scotland.
Monday 20th May
Audlem Methodist Church
Audlem Town Hall