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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