MK to Land’s End

Long time no blog…

Tomorrow will be the start of the new cycle – MK to Land’s End – just checking to see if this site still works…..

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Day 2. Part 2.

Day 2. Part 2.

The guys were a little worse for wear at the restaurant but some mars bars sorted them out-they didn’t stay too long as the final push to Bruges was upon us…there was a request for a repeat of last nights got drink combo but after a quick refuelling they were back in the final part of day 2…

I got to Bruges without incident and found the underground car park that was a short walk from the hotel on the main square with the bell tower. I say car park but I mean sauna…the ceiling was low so with the bike rack on the boot it wouldn’t open fully and lead to me smacking myself in the face with it!!!! I had the guys proper shoes and my two bags and walked to the main square.

Bruges is awesone! I must go back properly one day :0)

I sat on a bench and chilled for a while and then went in search of the hot drinks….I found a haagen dazs takeaway and got the guys their drinks….as I was paying I saw then enter the square (thank god for the hi vis they were wearing-they could never sneak past me ) .. Is told David to call on arrival so on queue mk walking out of the coffee shop carting a bag of shoes and three hot drinks and my phone starts ringing loudly and I can’t answer it-I’m also now burning my thumb badly as the cups are hot and I have no tolerance not being a hot drink drinker…I ‘race’ across the cobbles as quickly as possible to meet them and unload the burning drinks….fortunately the fact my thumb was now partially blistered from the heat was counter acted by just how great today had been and to see the gang arrive safely :0)

We checked in- uh oh! Leroy and I had a room consisting of a double bed and a long bathroom…barely separated by a sliding door…this didn’t bode well for my snoring! But we’d sort that out after food and beer!

The hotel was also an Italian and we had large mugs of larger and some rather nice food … The food (apart from David’s) arrived in these very cool wonky bowls..not sure how else to describe them!

We discussed the day-mainly how flat Belgium was and how easy it was for cyclists with all the cycle paths…..and the fact that it didn’t rain all day … Day 2 was over…..

Roll on day three aka – the Belgian run!

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Day 2. Part 1.

Day 2.

Hi all. First thing is -we made it to Bruges!!! And in one piece…well minus a tiny bit of flesh as Tony decided to practice how to fall and scraped his arm after an unclipping out of pedal issue – ie he didn’t!

It’s been an awesome day but didn’t start so well….

After finall succumbing to sleep around half eleven last night I then began making the evil snoring noises that led to Leroy escaping to the bathroom – making a rather comfortable make shift bed from the bath and long sofa cushion- at least that’s what he tells us…

I woke at 2 and strange noises from the bathroom and Leroy’s bed being empty and devoid of duvet highlighted the above escape plan so I knocked on door and told him I’d go sleep in car….

This was partly welcome as the room was boiling in an attempt to dry everything as all the guy’s kit were soaked from the never ending rain….so I went for a walk for a bit and then had an hour or so kip in the car (much cooler) before the dreaded alarm went off at half 4…so back to the room I went … A little bit grumpy and mainly annoyed that my out of control snoring had caused a mild issue… But Leroy has suffered the Stagg snoring before and he does generally forgive me…

We got our stuff together and the guys head off about six ish… The twenty miles to Dover were quite fun as I stopped a few times to see them… The plan being to stay close in case of incident as we HAD to catch that ferry!!!

This also saw the worst hill of the trip thus far….a seemingly unending twisty beast that I was stopped at halfway up to film them :) at least the rain wasn’t so bad …

After realising how bad the hill was I stopped at the top with some water for the guys as they seemed to need it ;) i think this was the crowning moment in my support car career -against, thus far…

Dover was cool cos I have very little memory of being there – although I’ve definitely seen the white cliffs before so maybe I’m mad!

We packed the car up and stuck the bikes on the back (Dave’s bike rack) – I then made Leroy drive as I wasn’t gonna be responsible!

We checked in and boarded the boat – up a slippery wet steep ramp that we had to stop on – good job Leroy was driving as I’d have stalled and rolled backwards destroying the bikes and possibly us! Mr Winldle’s superior clutch control saved the day….unlike the land rover behind us that very nearly did what I speculated I’d do above…

Boat was uneventful…the sea was surprisingly calm but there was no real view through the rain… We had some brekkie and then the three cyclists had a little snooze…

Made Leroy drive the car off the ferry too-a good test for him knowing his left from right!! We drove off the ferry to the first road of the European leg.

The gang got ready and just before departing it absolutely poured down…ah well-they were used to it by now…off they went and then the real fun began-me behind the wheel in a foreign country!!!

The sat nav took me straight onto a motorway-fine so far but then the motorway had roadworks and split into 2…I stayed on the right hand side as wasn’t sure what was happening…,the sat nav seemed to be on with it…then it forced me to come off at the next junction but I didn’t realise this and then I ended up faced with a load of cones as the motorway was shut:(

I ended up moving cones so I could get back on the exit ramp it was forcing me on and then followed a series of diversion signs!!! Not a great start!

I ended up in Dunkirk without any trauma-really quite easy driving on the right…

We were to meet at the big cemetery in Dunkirk…I was there a little while before the guys turned up so had a little look around… It was impressive! I’ve never seen so many big elaborate graves in one place…it was a bit eerie….will research more about it back home…

The guys arrived and Tony was bleeding from his fall-be patched himself up while the others stocked up on waters etc and had a little chill out…

Tony was clearly in accident mode as he shut the boot of the motor and managed to hit himself in the head with the bike rack-luckily he was still wearing his helmet….and luckily he was still wearing his helmet about five minutes later when he did exactly the same thing…I guess all the miles of cycling affects one’s short term memory….

And general cognitive functions get affected as not long after the double head got David completely lost the ability to listen… Tony, Leroy and I were discussing the need for passports at the border to Belgium as we wouldn’t stop again France and immediately after our chat-right next to David, he asked…do we need out passports at the border? … It can be trying being the support car sometimes…. ;0)

We discussed how flat Belgium was – much to the guys’ delight and once they were fuelled up and ready off they set for the next stop- a place called Middelkerke in Belgium.

I found my way to the happy and decided to head back for the guys as some rain clouds were around and they had ditched their waterproofs with the sun finally out…

The road splits though and they was also a seperate cycle track and I was lucky to just see three hi Vis wearing cyclists go round a corner …

I managed to catch up with a surprise stop bit fortunately the rain was still gone so was only brief…the guys were enjoying the cycle route they had found and I had to turn off into a golf course!

We met up in middelkerke in a cafe…we were near a church which bell starting to ring-it rang for at least 60 times…it was bizarre-it wasn’t even on the hour or anthingn…

Leroy and Tony had a coffee which came with a marshmallow (think of flumps) and a pot of goo… Tony was brave enough to eat the goo but was not sure what it was…Leroy declined…I decided it was custard…not that I tasted it….

I think this was also when they told me that The amazing Chapman had been practicing his acrobatics once again and had taken another fall but of course he was fine ;0)

With only 24 miles to go til Bruges the guys are feeling it today…david wishes he was already there and I reckon would have taken a lift at that point but of course he soldiered on and was actually just being a bit of a drama queen I reckon (yeah yeah pot kettle people-quiet!)

The gang headed off and I stopped between Middelkerke and Bruges, following the sea front a little way which was nice, and ended up jn a carpark of some closed restaurant – some ten miles out of Bruges….

Right- the end of day 2 will follow later on as need to find my cyclists!!

And pictures at some point!!!

See ya readers

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Day 1. Part 2.

First things first-they’ve made it! Well done guys…

So we’re in Ashford now-they’ve just turned up-got here about 5 to 7 so a long day for them but the last part was faster than I expected so good stuff!

I pottered around Woolwich and got soaked so bought a coat….then read my book waiting for the guys…they turned up and Leroy had ruined his cleats walking through the tunnel under the Thames but fortunately I had my spare ones.

Leroy re cleated his shoes and the other two (looking fine and smiley despite the weather) got things out the car etc.

They had no real news to report (boring!) and set off without too much fuss-we didn’t go in the pub as they wanted to get off…

Before they barely got to the road though david realised he had a puncture :( a piece of metal was stuck in his tyre so he removed it and got a new inner tube..he pumped it up and just before putting the tyre on his bike there was gunfire!!!

I was convicnced I had been shot but then realised it was actually just David’s inner tube which had exploded…puncture number two!!! Dave then put a new one in whcih survived-so much for out team mechanic :0)

Off they go safely and I’m tasked with getting a new tyre-and it has to be blue to match the other one…bloody diva….

The first bike shop I find is closed… The second I call and that’s closed…the third is open but far away off route…but I’ve got time…

so I go to cycles uk in Orpington and get a blue tyre and I blag a discount :0) result. I then avoid major m25 trauma but end up on scary country lanes until I find the pub for the next stop…

I get to the pub, get my pint and sit in the front beer garden under an umbrella in the pouring rain looking right stupid…the guys turn up not long after and stop for a proper meal.

The guys are still happy (I think) and although we are stuck outside in the rain under a big umbrella we order some chile con carne and a hot drink (I carry on with my Stella and get some chips!)

The lovely pub (The George Inn) takes pity on us when the food is ready and clears a table near the front door for us so the guys can warm up and eat in the dry….some keen cyclists here too- I spy a picture celebrating a group’s trip from Birmingham to Rome and one of the staff comments that she went from lands end (or john o’groats) to Germany once!

After much needed fuelling we set off again-me going straight to our rest stop for the night in Ashford some thirty miles away…

The weather got so bad I decided once I’d checked in I’d go back and find them with warm drinks but before I could do that…..room trauma!

I go to the premier inn that the postcode directed me to….there are no rooms booked under Windle ( Leroy booked all the rooms-God help us all)…there are no bookings under any of our names….but there are three premier inns in Ashford…I now assume that I am at the wrong one… The nice receptionist phones the north Ashford one…no luck…then she phones the other one…not luck…At this point I’m worried…she then points out the travelodge over the road…oh ok..maybe we are booked in there! I’m sure Leroy said premier inn…..

Off to the travelodge I go – “two rooms booked under Windle please”…she checks…”how do you spell that?” … I spell it… “No, nothing booked in that name…” … I’m now borderline insane as am I just in completely the wrong place ? And this is where they are headed….don’t want it to be wrong..are we roughing it tonight?!?!

I plead with the woman and we then check the address the booker lives at – I reel it off and finally some joy – the room is booked under the name Windle Leroy…the eejit has put the names the wrong way round!!!!

It transpires that the other room is booked for Mr Tony!!

Anyway I have a room! I grab a shower then head out – I don’t expect them for another hour based on the previous section- I just pull up at sainsbury near the hotel and Leroy calls-they are very close!

I forego sainsbury – rush to macdonalds and get back to the hotel with a hot drink for them all 2 mins befrie they arrive!!

They made it!!! I’m very proud of them … Having cycled the same distance when I cycled from MK to Rotherham I know what it’s like but that was a nice warm day- to cycle in this torrential rain is just awful….more credit to them I say…and more sponsorship required!!! But seriously-it’s a great effort…Leroy is like a robot and would carry on going regardless…Tony hasn’t cycled distances like this for twenty years and with all due respect has a good few years extra on the clock!! And then there is Mr Warwick….arguably the fittest of us all (currently) but David has never really done more than 50 miles so not practice at long journeys so well done for your first 100+ miler :0) awesome stuff all of ya…

It’s been an odd day as support car….I was looking forward to chilling places waiting for them but I find I’m on edge waiting for them to appear….it’s not so much concern they are in trouble more just not knowing when and where they are….and I like/need to know what’s going on at all times….this is something that will surely get worse once we cross to the continent!!!

I’m kinda ambivalent about the trip….I’m still deeply gutted that I’m not cycling as I’m missing out on an amazing trip but at the same time-with this weather- I’m not sure id want to do it….I’m still there to help and hope the guys have found me helpful…I know that if the Dublin cycle – no support car, just us and heavy rucksacks- was in this weather it would have been miserable…so I guess I am needed after all and I’m not just along to stay involved ;0)

Sorry for no pics as struggling to upload them via ipad…also sorry for the infinite typos…

david , Tony and I just went for some food at the beefeater- Leory staying behind to get some kip as he had like no sleep last night as he and Kathy didn’t get home from The North till real late…and the quicker he gets to sleep the less likely my atrocious snoring will keep him awake…. The room is boiling so that we can dry clothes….it is only slightly colder than the depths of hell I reckon and I’m struggling not to drown in my own sweat..but the needs of the cyclists must come first……

I’m getting sleepy now and must be awake in 6 hours (half four wake up call….) I hope leroy is now asleep as if I snore he has permission to wake me and I’ll go kip in the car…. :(

Well that’s all for now….might be a while tilt he next entry as I’m dependent on finding wifi abroad….

Keep dry people ;0)

Stagg

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Day 1. Part 1.

Morning readers!

Well let’s just say it’s a good job I’m not cycling as I didn’t get up! I told the guys id be at the office at 5:15…I woke at 7:00 :( . They left all the gear and set off without me!!

The gang (minus Stagg) ready to leave

I raced to the office and packed the car-badly I might add-knowing that Leroy would be disgusted with my packing….

Then I was ready!

2 hours later...

I race down the A5 trying to work out where I’d meet them-surely they would have got to St Albans yet? Convinced I’d missed them I eventually drive past three soggy but familiar cyclists and stopped at a roundabout up ahead…I’d finally caught up :0)

Now I’ll probably keep going on about my dublin cycle as a conparison so apologies up front but it’sy only frame of reference-my point is that when Leroy and I cycled to Dublin we had no rain-in fact on the return trip we got very badly burned!! Now these guys are cold and wet and only a quarter through day 1 – I feel their pain and I’m glad I’m the support car right now…

There was only little ridicule for my not getting up and the guys used the time to grab some tea cakes and raisins…. Although Letoy also took this opportunity to repack the car…his Packing OCD being too powerful to overcome :)

David is all proud at his miraculous idea he had yesterday – to keep the map/route and some haribo in an empty water bottle.,,well done David :0)

Tony looks glad to have found the car most of all and pits on warmer clothes- or rather drier ones.,,his waterproof doesn’t seem to be living up to its name!

I'm sure they are happier than they look

So off they go again….we agree to meet in south London just after they cross the river….which is where I am now…I had to go through the black wall tunnel which was bad as I’m convinced I will get stuck in a tunnel and have a minor irrational fear…but at least I’m in a warm car…

I’ve wandered around woolwich.,,bought the guys some weird gloves and a hi vid as Carmel suggested it (good call Carmel! Always looking after us;) ) and now I’m waiting in the pub I’ve told them to meet me at…

I hope they are ok….! Oh they missed this too- nom nom!

There is supposed to be a pic of my brekkie but it won’t load :(

Oh well

About half way if day one…well I am-they won’t be far behind though!

Laters peeps

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Tomorrow….

Hi Readers,
IT is the eve of the Cycle to Bonn – I have been running about all day making sure I’ve got everything I’m expected to take and I’ve been annoying the guys about various things too….I think we are now ready…well I’m not packed of course but I’ve still got 8 hours until my alarm goes off at 4AM :)
We met with Graeme Halls in the week – Graeme being Tracey’s husband who was assisted by the Air Ambulance we are supporting on this cycle. It was great to meet Graeme and to see how well he has recovered in a relatively short space of time – we are really glad that he is behind us on this cycle – it really means a lot. We also have over £1,200 in sponsorship which is excellent!
I will attempt to blog everyday with what’s been happening – hopefully we will all get to Bonn in one piece – driver and cyclists!…so with that I’ll go now and see you tomorrow at some ungodly hour!

Laters….

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Bonn – August 3rd 2014

So the blog is hopefully on its way back….partly because i am finally back on my bike (although now the heaviest I’ve ever been) and partly because there is a Team Stagg cycle to Bonn happening very soon – alas the Stagg himself is not gonna be on pedal power - I am gonna be the support car…

After 4 years since we were training for the Palace to Palace I have managed to get to 24 stone :( This is bad. But i have got a road bike now and have been going out a few times with Leroy and on my own.

Leroy, David and our uber Boss Tony Chapman are the guys cycling to Bonn, where our Head office is….I know Tony had been out practicing and the lads have been doing the good old Silverstone loop with some longer rides coming….

I am also trying to start bike club up again so that the old team and some new people can get back on the bikes…

For me the ultimate goal is to lose the weight again, keep on the blog with the actual Bonn cycle and then get in the palace to palace again next year which is the tenth anniversary of the event and the 5th anniversary since we did it – seems perfect…i also plan to do it under three hours this time!!

Well I’ll hopefully be back out on the bike in the week but I’m feeling pretty rough with a messed up throat and head but gotta cycle so see what happens.

Welcome back to the blog readers!

Stagg out…

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A new route…. 31/05/11

Hello!

This entry is the latest team cycle on a Tuesday and took us to pastures new in an effort to avoid willen and the bloody millennium route…was a good ride with about six of us…. Read on!!!!

Most of the group - Matt and Liz are missing...

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Weasel Challenge!!!! – 29/05/11

Welcome blog fans to a special edition of TeamStagg – The Weasel challenge!

This was a secret cycle ride with me and Matt and will now be revealed!  Not that anyone will even remotely care and will think we are sad….. But C’est la vie!

What does it mean?!?!?

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How to train your Dragons…24/05/11

Here we are with our first official Dragonboat entry in the blog – exciting times!

In case you don’t know – we are entering the MK dragonboat festival at Willen for the second year and for more info see the blog a few posts back (called ‘Blog is coming soon’) which has a link to the poster I made!

This is training one of two….

Loitering with paddles and bouyancy aids!

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