1st October 2015
And so it came to pass that on Sunday 27th September 2015 (happy birthday Mum!) the early morning sun climbed above the Station Road tree line and cascaded its warm and welcoming rays onto the lush green pastures of Fitz Park. The gathering of the now legendary NSG Psyclopaths had begun. The early bird Psyclos assembled at the appointed hour of 7:30, others and they know who they are, elected for the leisurely lie in and full breakfast before making their way to the park. Soon the gathering was complete and resplendent in their team lycra they made their way to the start line. We couldn’t have asked for a better day and to paraphrase the great Dave Grohl (Times like these – Foo Fighters for the uninitiated):
“it’s days like these you learn to live again
it’s days like these you give and give again
it’s days like these you learn to love again
it’s days like these time and time again”
Well my loyal chums and fellow velominati, we certainly lived, gave and loved – all for the cause!
As I was boosted by the Chemo Diet steroids I set off trying to better last years time however that plan fell by the wayside once my rear inner tube decided that it couldn’t take another pothole hit and finally gave in. A huge thanks go to the two good Samaritans who stopped to assist me in changing the tube. I say assist, they did in fact do it for me following my pathetic attempts that resulted in bits of broken plastic tyre levers flying in all directions over the nearby hedges. Later reports from the other Psyclos confirmed they were having similar problems with another two punctures. But these setbacks didn’t detract from the overall experience of the Rivers Ride. It’s a great event that supports a great cause and I would encourage anyone with a penchant for any sort of exercise and love of the countryside to enter the event in 2016. You won’t regret it!
It was four months ago that I said I would be in Fitz Park regardless of what the NHS was going to throw my way in the form of treatment for the lymphoma and through the support of my family, fellow Psyclos, friends, sponsors and the Foundation I did what I set out to do!! The relief and joy I felt as I entered Keswick eventually hit me and the tears, not of sadness, but of achievement, eventually came and as one journey ended at the finish line in the park the more important journey back to peak health and fitness still continues.
There are an awful lot of people who have helped and supported me on this journey and to name them all individually would be a mammoth task but they all fit into one of the following, so a huge thank you to:
The original NSG Psyclopaths, new NSG Psyclopaths, old friends, new friends, colleagues at NSG, NIS & Hold, all the generous sponsors to my just giving page, Cumbria Community Foundation and of course my Darling Wife.
Special thanks to Andy Beeforth and his Foundation team for continuing to run this event. The organisation of the day was again flawless, the Foundations many volunteers who made sure we went the right way and those who manned the feed stations, were instrumental in making the day so memorable.
More special thanks to all the sponsors who gave so generously, some even watching the total to ensure I hit the £2000 target before I set off. I’m sure Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley very much appreciate your generosity.
There is one very good friend who I will single out who’s drive and determination to support me in doing the ride almost matched my own, and that is Psyclo Lozza. Three months ago she had never ridden a bike. She trained in wind and rain (and through hangovers) to make sure that Whinlatter wouldn’t be a problem. She is now the proud owner of a magnificent pair of thighs thanks mainly to the hills around Anglezarke and Rivington. I’m sure she enjoyed the Prosecco at the end. Go Girl!!
Finally ladies and gentlemen (at last!!!), if I have contributed in any small way, with these blogs, to the continued success of this great event then I have succeeded. Indeed, if I have inspired one person to ditch the comfy confines of their sofas and to don the lycra and to get out on their bikes, to enjoy all the pleasures that our countryside provides then again, I have succeeded.
Your journeys to next years event starts here, my journey back to health continues…………
See you all next year.