Monday, 21 May 2012

Prince's Trust Palace to Palace - Mission Accomplished!

Two thirds of the team at the start
The Levenes Cycle Injury Cycle Team joined the likes of Martin Johnson, Lewis Moody and Rebecca Romero in braving the chilly Warwickshire weather as we started out from Warwick Castle and then followed a route that took in Stratford upon Avon and Kenilworth Castle before returning once more to Warwick.

Grand Depart!
The start was momentous with riders accumulating in the central courtyard area before descending the cobbles through the main portcullis and then through the outer grounds. This short 10 metre section was not quite like the pavĂ© of the Paris-Roubaix, which was fortunate as I am not sure that I would have coped with being shaken like that for 45 miles! Nonetheless it certainly was a “grand depart” worthy of such a fine mediaeval setting.

Mr Unicyclist
The ride itself was fun with lots of interest. There were a few “climbs” but nothing worse than 12% and they were only very short. I have to admit though, Granny gear did get a couple of short outings... well, until we overtook a unicyclist along the route, inspiring me to dig deep and just power up the hills in a higher gear instead!

The route was well signposted with a number of cheerful volunteers on key junctions to ensure that you did not go astray. How they kept warm and cheerful is a mystery to me! Chapeau to the Evans Cycles at strategic points helping out stricken riders with any mechanical mishaps, the organisers who ensured that it all went smoothly and to everyone who took part.

Colin going strong
The nice sunny weather we ordered failed to arrive but we didn't let that spoil our enjoyment of the ride. The cold forced us to go that little bit faster, which was fine, but it was a shame that it wasn't warmer because the Princes Trust had laid on a nice reception with a marquee, medals to be handed out even a free massage for those participants suffering just a little more than others. Finding myself stiffening up in the cold, I didn't hang around too long afterwards. We managed to raise over £300 for the Prince’s Trust which made it all worthwhile.

Having well and truly caught the bug, next up is the London to Paris!

by Tim Beasley

Mission Complete!
Colin with his medal

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