Day 14: Mariestad – Gothenburg
Final day of phase 1, and what a day! 112 miles down to Gothenburg was supposed to be a stroll in the park. Mother Nature had other ideas. From the moment we set off we had gale force wind directly in our faces. Ten miles in and it felt like 30. This was going to be a tough day, a day where we needed to work together as a team. Try we did but the elements were against us not only destroying our energy but also our resolve. We were looking for anything to help – a tractor going in our direction would be a help. Dave managed to tag one for a few miles but most were going in the wrong direction. Battle on we had to do and battle on we did. Eventually at 8:10pm we arrived to meet the back up team who were loudly cheering us in and broadcasting live on Facebook. Phase 1 completed, conquered, The Arctic tamed!!!
This has been an epic adventure from the drive up to Nordkapp with horrendous traffic and a broken windscreen and then the highs of being cheered off by hundreds of tourists wishing us well, completing a long hard days cycling and sinking a well earned beer to the lows of being 215 metres under the Arctic Ocean at 3:00am on a Monday morning riding a bike or cycling for 12 hours in the rain and even snow!
Everyone involved has been fantastic. *All the cyclists for their training, preparation and determination, for never giving up when things got tough, encouraging each other when heads fell and working together to get through the day. This was a massive challenge and remember one of the cyclists Lee only bought a bike and started cycling in March!
*The back up team, who I am sure didn’t think it was an easy holiday but I am equally sure that they didn’t expect how hard back up was going to be! From day 1 they were right behind the cyclists even waiting up until 5:00am on the first day to watch us in. It was supposed to be the cyclists set off in the morning, the back up then had the day to themselves all they had to do was to get to the next hotel. Unfortunately as conditions were that bad they met us after 20 or 30 miles with hot coffee and a warm car. Without the back up crew we could not have done this – true heroes!
*Support from back home! The messages and donations that were sent throughout the whole journey was incredible. A message or donation would pop up on my phone on my bike, many times just at the right time to give us that much needed lift, the inspiration to push the pedals harder or even put a smile on a weary tortured face.
*The Sponsors who provided some of the funds to make this happen. This is not a cheap challenge to put in and would have been very difficult to fund without the very generous donations from the Sponsors – New Lodge Contractors, Kerry Ingredients, Oak by Design, The Station Hotel, Birstwith & Logic Fire and Security.
We don’t know exactly what we have raised for Alzheimer’s so far but we know it is in the region of £4000!!!! It doesn’t end here! Phase one complete, phase 2 next year. Back to Gothenburg we go and set off to Monaco traveling through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Before then we have the Great Nidd Bike Ride and the Great Nidd Bike Ball on the 23rd of September details to enter the Bike ride are on the website the Ball details will be out soon.
I just want to say a huge thank you to all involved – the cyclists who agreed to take on this mad challenge, the back up for their whole hearted support, the sponsors for putting faith in us and of course all of you for supporting and donating.
Only one thing left to say who won the numpty hat award on the last day?
After some discussion about some of Lee’s antics today the decision was unanimous of course it was……………
…………………………Sean!!! For coming up with such an outrageous idea (even I voted for myself)
Thanks for reading
P.s All the rest of the team are putting their own comments or detailing some thoughts below.