Thursday, February 4, 2010

SST

The portable GPS trackers we use are now available to buy on the internet. Click here

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day 5 of the Challenge and the last day

We started the day with smiles on our faces knowing that the finish was in sight in the form of the sea at Robin Hoods Bay, providing Marc's navigation skills didn't let us down, not something that had happened yet, but we did have the unhospitable moors to cover, a place that had broken two bikes during training due to its formidable terrain, bogs, waist high heather and mud. However the day was completed without any major mishaps.


Its been an honour to spend the week with the Team and our Support, and I am very proud to put Ian's name to an arduous challenge that we all managed to completed.




































Some of the thoughts from the Team:
John: The final day was here and the thoughts of just 26 miles to Robin Hood’s bay put spirits high for all and I feel we made the best of the day and enjoyed every part… ok a puncture on my bike before we left camp delayed the start but that wasn’t going to put us down.
What a reception at the bay it was fantastic and emotional – thanks all, at first thinking nobody was there to welcome us and then the screams went up. From the welcoming team not us of course we were cruising into town and longing that first pint!
On to the beach for the final pictures and the skimming of the pebble that was collected from St. Bees and carried all the way across. Plus the collecting of a local pebble to go with the second collected at St. Bees as a souvenir and reminder of what we had achieved.
What a great week with highs and great memories all the way…. Those painful times are long forgotten.
Great job well done lads!

Peter: Well the team finished the ride on Saturday 24th at Robin Hoods Bay to a fantastic welcome by family and friends.
The 220 mile ride (plus 20 carrying my bike!!) were just great I enjoyed every single turn of the pedals. Although we had an important agenda to keep in mind, we had a good 5 days of laughter mostly at other team members mishaps along the way which equated to a laugh a minute!!!
If you don't enjoy falling off your mountain bike!!! please do not attempt the off road coast 2 coast stick to the road version!
Thank you to all that have sponsored me and all those that are still thinking about it !!

Elliot: When Mark first mentioned the challenge I thought coast to coast on a bike what a great idea! Little did I know that it would take up almost every weekend and evening building up to the event! It was a great challenge and a fantastic week which made all the training rides and trips in the canal worth it!

I wasn't sure that I or my bike would make it after the first day's fun and crashes! but we did and I feel very proud to have completed it for charity and Ian's name. Thanks Mark for the opportunity and thanks to the rest of the team for making a hard week so much fun! Did I hear someone mention Land's End to John o'Groats.........

Day 4 of the Challenge

No updates were made to the blog due to the lack of 3G, GPRS or any kind of phone signal at all. Let me just say the campsite was remote and a little lacking in amenities, but that's what you get in the middle of nowhere I suppose, but the day's riding and terrain covering was superb.

John said: After a good nights sleep and some brekkie from Mel & Darryn it was butt back on the saddle and go for another long day. It was good to spend some time on the roads again but running across the busy 4 lane carriageway over the central reservation was scary!! The moors seemed never ending although we did have the wind behind at one stage for a change… ok for 5 minutes. A great steep decent to the campsite ended the day on a high. And like all other days the legends Mel and Darryn had put the tents up ahead of us. A drive back to Leeds for me, Darren and Marc made this another very long day.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 3 of the Challenge

Today we rode out of the pennines and into the Yorkshire Dales where we were greeted by the highest pub in England. We were told to serve ourselves, put the payment for drinks were free providing we peeled a whole sack of spuds between us!


A sack of spuds later we left the pub across country for some amazing scenary and downhill sections.


Elliot: Another good but long day. The addition of free beer and a good downhill section cheered everyone up. A longer day tomorrow then onto the home streach! Bring on the beers on the final day!


Marc: Day started on a high, Mel an Darryn supplying cups of tea and nothing was to much trouble. Maybe this could be a new sideline?? As for the ride, it was fantastic and a big shout has to go out to the Tann Inn for the free cider even thou it did cost a few spuds to peel. Back to the ride. Good day, fantasic sceneary and i managed to stay on the bike all day although seeing as i have come off it about half a dozen times i though it would be good if Pete caught me up on the scar's board. Night Night Bloggers!


Peter: Yet another fab day the ride was just superb. The gravel rash and the ever more sore bum is not dampening my spirits.

Adam: Well that's it I am definetly not a mountain biker!! Why does I always fall on my right knee???? Sorry chaps making you wait till i finished my Guiness Roast Beef sarnie and chips :). Roads were good today got our heads down and got some good mileage covered. Long un tommorrow but hey ho nearly there, Dont forget you can still sponsor us Kelly Amanda and Joy ;oP


John: After a nice day on the road to get over the totally exhausting long first day it was good to get back off road for some of the time today… although the bike carrying sections did get me longing for the road again! The stop for lunch at the Tann Inn will be very memorable with the free beer but having to earn it… what a shame there was not enough peelers to go around and I was left in charge of Quality…. Well after a telling off for us leaving the bruised pieces of spud in!!
Thanks to a bit of first aid on route Pete was back up and cycling in no time. Plus a puncture fix on Justin’s bike – all in a days cycle.


Justin: To be updated later

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 2 of the Challenge

Mark:
After cycling around Coniston, then Windemere we crossed the M6 and continued on our way out of the Lake District which has some of the most spectacular scenary England has to offer. God really knew how to build mountains round here!! We arrived at Kirby Steven very suprised that we'd made it for 4 o clock in the afternoon. Thanks again for Mel and Darryn supporting us.


Marc: Just read that pete is after a ride in holland, im up for that but as long as the bikes have an engine!!!
Ok day 2, i could go on about the beautiful countryside that we crossed but it was very hard to enjoy it when your body aches and your bum hurts if you walk or if you ride? sorry, try not to think about it to hard.
ok just about to start day 3 and heading up to Tann Inn, (higest pub in england) its going to be a hard slog up there but i think the hardest part will be leaving it and and doing the next 30+ miles. chat tomorrow campers.

Adam: I want to go back to bed! Hard work, legs dont work and I've got a banging headache from one can of beer.

Justin: Looking forward to hitting the half way point today, and the highest pub in England...might just stay there...

Peter: Well the 2nd day had some very large surprises in store!! I lost count after 40 mountains and the hills even became hard at 2pm. Next year I am up for a ride in Holland!!

John: Am I dehydrated, am I exhausted, am I ill, um decissions decissions but I know one thing we've a few more mountains to climb yet so perhaps tonight I will know what my body is really trying to tell me!!
Lacking some tarmac on these paths I know that though!! :)


Elliot: To be updated later, he's dived off for some breakfast!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 1 of the Challenge

The Team in the sea on the West Coast.........


The first day was a hard day for all of us. Not only was it long (15 hours) but the terrain was both spectacular and gruelling. Over 45 miles were covered and at least 20 of those miles we either carried or pushed the bikes. Below are the team's thoughts:

Elliot: A great but challenging ride! an excursion over the handlebars provided some entertainment for the rest of the team! Some franic repairs this morning helped get my bike back in working order, thanks Adam for the wheel and riding the spare bike for today! All in all a good but long day. bring on the next one!

Peter: Very tough for the 1st day ,but what a fantastic ride and one of the best I have done in 6 years of mountain bike riding.

Marc: This looked like a good idea when we read the article in one of the bike mags, 6 or seven days of easy riding through some off the most scenic county in England and after leaving st bees on an easy path life felt good. 15+ hours later and with batterd bikes and bodies we pulled into the camp site. I have been mis'sold!

Adam: Well if anybody was buying this trip Marc would be done for false advertising!! Anyhow first day done a few more to go Pint and football tonight so long as Elliott doesnt' decide to show off his lack of stunt riding skills. Beautiful scenery so far well worth the bum ache and sunburn. Bring on Saturday i cant wait to sit in a chair :).

John: A nice 22mile warm up until we got to the Youth Hostel of Hell!!! If only I'd spent another couple of grand on a ultra light weight bike because I thought a bike was supposed to be built for riding not carrying!! I could have done with a zimmer on that last hill..... the downhill would have been better with lights too! :) Many thanks Marky B for the uphill assistance!
Some fantastic scenery.

Justin: Some hellish up hills followed by spectacular downhills in some of the most spectacular and remote countryside in the UK. So far, so good!

Mark: Never has a campsite been so welcoming even though it was completely dark when we arrrived. That was one tough day.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Liverpool to Leeds - Following the canal 18/19 Apr 08

Could we actually cycle 127 miles off road, following the canal, in two days in preparation for the challenge?

None of us really had any doubt that we wouldn't be able to make it all the way, so we got off to a good start, leaving the Minorplanet offices in the Challenge support truck (Melvin's camper van) with all the bikes in the trailer.


After arriving at Liverpool we set off along the canal and past the first lock but we then managed to make our first mistake as we took a wrong turn and followed the wrong canal! Half an hour later we were back on track but not off to a good start.

video


7 miles later we to left the suburbia of Liverpool and really started to feel the elements that appeared to be working against us. It was cold, the tracks/tow paths were very muddy, but most of all it was very windy. We had decided to ride from Liverpool to Leeds and not vica verca due to the wind direction normally being a Westerly which would have been pushing us along, however we'd managed to pick one of those brief periods where the wind was an Easterly and appeared to be quite strong. So with the wind in our faces we pushed on and into the Pennies. Well at least we wouldn't have to go up any hills, just 57 locks to Blackburn, that were all uphill for us!

Blackburn was 60 miles away from us when we started and the campsite a further 27 miles, but after 40 miles and far too many stops (saddle sore makes you stop!) a few of us were starting to doubt our ability to get to the campsite in daylight and setup all the tents, but we pushed on. The first leg of over 80 miles was, at this stage, looking a bit too adventurous, but this was due to it not being as easy as we all imagined it would be. The wrong turn in the morning took us at least 30 minutes the wrong way, the tow paths in some areas were slippy, muddy, grassy tracks and we never seemed to go 5 minutes without having to get off for a gate of some description. The Pennies were also very bleak and when we were out on the highest areas the wind really did howl across the open fields slowing us to a miserable walking pace. This was becoming a serious demoraliser. By 4 o clock we still had nearly 40 miles to go to the campsite which was looking impossible to achieve in daylight but we only 10 or so miles to go to Blackburn, so we decided to call in the cavalry and get Melvin to meet us in Blackburn. Except for two.

Marc and Peter were not to be beaten and they refused the transport from Blackburn at 6 o clock and they pushed on. We pushed in, into the trailer and onto the campsite, feeling quite sore, tired and very thankful of the camper van. With a cup of tea in our hands and tea on the stove our thoughts and comments (nutters, ,mad, brave, stupid) went to Marc and Peter, especially as it was starting to get quite dark and wet. Yes, just to make it a little harder for marc and Peter it started to rain, heavily. However we did have comfort in the knowledge that they had taken a 6000 tracking unit with them and they were being tracked by Minorplanet (Patrick in particular, thanks) who was giving us regular updates on their position. As long as their position kept moving on the map we knew they were still moving along the canal and hadn't fallen in, and more importantly we'd better put their tent up!!

At 10 o clock in the dead of night they appeared at the campsite. Hats off to em, I know my buttocks couldn't have carried me another mile that day but they managed another 30 miles further than us.


Bright and breezy we woke in the morning with sunshine and breakfast from Melvin. We packed the tents away early allowing us to leave the campsite for half past 8. It was all downhill, quite literally. Every lock for us in West Yorkshire was downhill. The wind was still strong though and it seemed as determined as ever to slow us where every possible, but we persevered.


But after a superb lunch at Pan Loafys Canal Side Restaurant in Skipton there was no stopping us (thank you for the kind sponsorship from the Restaurant) and by 4 o clock in the afternoon we managed to smile our way back into Leeds, ending the jolly little jaunt at the Armouries.



Easy? No. A challenge in its own right? Yes. And definitely an experience along the way to preparing for the challenge.

if you want to see the route that seemed to zig zag forever you can go to www.vmiweb.co.uk/challenge select the 18th or the 19th and view the journey, just like you will be able to during the 5 day challenge.



Please don't forget we need your financial support for us to be able to achieve our goal of £10,000 for the Brake Road Safety Charity.
Please sponsor us by clicking on the link on the left or just go to www.justgiving.com/mplc2c