wotr 2014

“We were really thrilled to have so many new people involved and so many more women competing this year. It was particularly fitting to have Jenny and Sarah lead the field into Bridlington. Phil came in 3rd just ahead of a disgruntled Brian– as early as day 2 it was clear that Brian would be leaving no prisoners behind as he set his sights into the distance, we were just a bit surprised that this nearly included knocking over a 7 year old girl on Bridlington strand.

Sarah had demonstrated the full range of her parenting skills by cycling off and leaving her son Jack behind after he had fallen off into a batch of nettles. Fortunately his more caring uncle and cousin Nat were there to help him recover. Nat (14) and Jack (15) were both incredible – well-done boys.

There seemed to be a run on nettle falling on the last day as Mark Rowland also tried it. Clearly Simon’s description of the experience was one that others were keen to share – if not the shoulder injury. Yet again Sarah (Doc) had to fully use her medical skills whether that was helping Simon to lower his arm after his crash or resuscitating a child’s broken body by the roadside (well a badly cut hand). I was slightly concerned that Simon might have had a head injury when I first read his email about a Red Light to Red light ride for next year – which once again shows the problem of skim reading an email – get well soon.

We were thrilled that Prilla was able to complete Sundays ride even if Richard and her left at 4:30 am to make sure they would not have to queue too long in the chip shop in Bridlington. It was great to have her and Mark join us this year in memory of Dan.

Jane also gets very special plaudits for completing the ride – the hand of God (Kip) propelled her along at times but a brilliant achievement battling considerable pain.

Gavin clearly showed why he has been chosen to lead a revival among the lost generation of middle aged Methodists in Wales as Jonnie and him enjoyed a cup of earl grey and a slice of strawberry crumble at the bottom of Pateley Bridge hill.

Liam’s commitment to his fixie was fully demonstrated on the same descent, as he couldn’t manage to dismount his bike afterwards– he also showed a rare skill in bike repairs to both Alice and Millie’s punctures.

Phil made the use of a single gear bike seem effortless as he recounted the visitor information for each of the national trust properties we went through. Phil and Peter also provided great support as I realised I had the wrong spare inner tube for Millie’s bike (another outstanding contribution by the Cambridge Rose’s) before John pulled out a spare for Alice bike that meant that Mille could continue – it had to have a slide fold which meant that her cycling took on a whole new rhythm.

Nive was particularly caring as he cycled up and decided he’d already wasted far too much time on the stragglers and promptly pegged it off again. Huge thanks to Nive for organising it so well.

Elie had a variety of excuses for being among those at the back, his children and a lack of sleep – his bike being too small – but never once did he put it down to the panniers filled with scotch that he was cycling across England with. Dean and Ben made a customary nonchalant entry, cycling the wrong way past us through Morecambe on Saturday morning with Dean catching it all on film. David G managed to straggle in last on day 1 and then burst forward to the front half on subsequent days.

It was great to have Graham adding to the Cambridge Contingency – he had a very contented look as left to drive to his daughters in Preston for a shower and a hot meal.

Keeping with the Cambridge riders – it was great to welcome Steve back, although his choice of a cunning short cut managed to provide Liam with one more knee breaking decent and to completely miss the most beautiful part of the ride through Fountains Abbey.

Adrian also had a Garbo-esque moment on the last day as he accidently took himself off on a lengthy solo detour. John has to have a special mention as he had only landed back from Pakistan on the Friday morning, while it was great to see him cycle along with his daughter Alice who as ever was the most fantastic encourager to others.

Mark Rigby also had major problems getting his leg over his saddle and plunged to a graceful fall (pre nettles). Mark also gets a huge thanks for the fantastic book – available soon. Having cycled with Pete for most of the ride it was fitting to see how quickly he ditched him in the hope of glory at Bridlington – Pete had spent two days struggling with really painful tendons.

Mike obviously gets the smug prize for QPR snatching an unjust victory over Derby in the play off finals – next year we will be swapping places. He was also one of only three with Iain and Gavin who made it up the hill out of Settle without having to walk.

It was great to have David join his father Ian this year as one of the father and son teams and it was really good to get to know Joan who having done London to Paris 2 weeks earlier will no doubt be on another long distance ride in a few weeks time. Chris and Catherine Pye joined us from a growing Ealing contingency and ate up the miles over the last two days.

It was especially good to meet the youngest cheerleader, Neil’s son Dan who came with mum Karen and dog to send us off and gurgle him along the home straight.

Jill gave much needed assistance to those who were struggling, and Isobel did a stunning job with the van and lunches.

I should also like to thank Millie (13) for being such great company for three days and for doing so well. It’s good to finally have found someone who will carry my hip flask for me when I can no longer manage the weight.

Plots are already being hatched for next year – Keep the same weekend free. It will might be flatter………………….

Chris Rose May 2014

Amos Bike Ride 24-26 May 2014

We’ve been so touched by the robust response in support of the Amos 3-day Bike-Ride ‘Way of the Roses’ in memory of Daniel. Thank you so much! Director Chris Rose thinks of Dan as a founder-member of these annual rides of which this was the seventh. Diane, Joel & Jude will particularly appreciate a wonderful book of photos in   memory of Dan put together by Mark Rigby commemorating the 3rd ride, Cambridge to Paris which Dan organised.

It’s nearly 8 months since Daniel died. It was very special to be remembering him in a physical way with a group of people, many of whom had cycled with him & who knew & loved him. Several had come specially for their first-ever ride because of their friendship with Dan. People greatly appreciated also having Mark on the ride.

Physically sharing a challenge together as a group in the open air was very bonding! Lots also shared as we rode together. Daniel would have revelled in the dramatic hills, lush fields separated by drystone walls, also many majestic oak-trees, & little villages nestling in the valleys. He was such an enthusiastic outdoor person.

On the first day we were toiling up steep hills, whether off or on our bikes, with the wind & stinging rain against us. This reminded us of struggles Dan had had. From then on, the weather got better & better. York old city looked magical early Monday morning & wind-jackets came off. We ended the ride in full sunshine with fish & chips on Bridlington sea-front. The whole ride of 170 miles was completed except for me, Prilla, who chickened out of 40 particularly challenging miles on the Sunday morning!

Daniel was always passionate about the human rights issues of justice about which Amos Trust is concerned. Thanks to Amos Trust for organising so efficiently all the practical issues, also agreeing to divide all funds raised in connexion with this ride between their work among traumatised young people in Gaza & the Mental Health Foundation.

 oooOOOooo

Richard Rowland – May 2014

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