LEJOG – DAY 4 – The Hottest Day of the Year
With no Ollie to keep the two company for forty miles and no longer looking like a 3-piece boy band (now more Ant and Dec (anyone remember their pop career?!) than the Beastie Boys) nor the poster boys for the new O2e kit, the pair had to find a way to kick start their third 100 mile day on the bounce.
Today’s aim is 113 miles, a tall order when the forecast says this will be the hottest day of the year and potentially on record. This is to give them some respite on Friday and therefore an easier day to look forward to. They have some other riders joining them for the Preston leg on Day 5 which will hopefully make that half way point to the challenge that bit easier. It also means they’re still firmly on track in the time frame they have given themselves and for James to make that flight to Portugal next Friday, which he will miss on pain of death… (don’t worry Harriet, he will make it!)
More importantly, on Ollie’s recommendations, the boys have increased their fundraising target to £10,000 as the momentum they have received so far has been staggering and it would be unbelievable if they could achieve that goal- so please, if you have not had the opportunity to donate yet, please do. Any amount and any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated by the boys, the O2e family and the fantastic charities that O2e supports.
The journey to Preston today seemed like a long one- driving it from London is bad enough! Fortunately, there was no M6 to manoeuvre and what lay at the end of it was incentive enough. Mark was so keen to get home, see his parents and sleep in his own bed.
52 miles in and the pair stopped for lunch. Adam was taking no chances and had sneaked a number of Alison’s world-class ham sarnies into the car (well played sir). Once those were demolished it was time in check in on the long-distance support. It seems that people aren’t just impressed with the feat the boys are undertaking but are inspired by it too.
A family friend, George, is the latest O2e recruit, he has sent us a photo of him all kitted up in O2e gear and raring to go- he has even gone for a ride during a family holiday, anything to escape those parents! The support is just overwhelming, with every day bringing to light even more kindness, generosity and well-wishers. I don’t think any of us, let alone James and Mark, were at all aware of the impact that their challenge would have.
Once the sensation returned to their hands and arms, a lot of braking and shaking this morning, the boys were back in the saddle, ready to take on the afternoon. A very quick stop around 2.30 and then they were rapidly back on the roads, chowing down on the miles in a bid to get through the 113 so that tomorrow is an easier day.
75 miles in, 38 miles from Broughton, James’ shoes broke. Fortunately, Geppetto was in town and James was soon latched back onto his bike. The next 2 hours of peddling was tough work, the boys only fitting 16 miles in that time, the hottest day of the year and potentially on record starting to take effect. With 22 miles left to go at 6pm it felt as though the day would never end.
Karen’s tuna bake was what the boys needed when they finally arrived into Broughton at 8pm, Mark with a wasp sting on the neck and James having had a fall- day 4 has been an utter b*stard.
The boys were also greeted by Mark’s brother Tom’s dog Sheldon (Mark’s brother is Tom, Tom’s dog is Sheldon… that got very confusing). Tom and his girlfriend’s father Andrew are joining the pair for the first leg of Friday’s ride.
It was time to say goodbye to James’ brother Adam and pass the buck to Mark’s parents Karen and Martin, who are now the support team for the rest of this challenge. Thank you Adam for your amazing support on Day 4!
An unbelievably tough day, they have much to be proud of and their resilience to keep going when some of us (fine, me) struggled to walk to M&S to pick up some lunch after just a few minutes walking in this heat (for those reading this for the food anecdotes, I weirdly went for macaroni cheese on the hottest day of the year. No real reason why, just fancied it.).
Tomorrow they travel to Carlisle and to a much deserved spa where they will hit that all important half way point. Fingers crossed they don’t have to travel through any of the thunderstorms en route!
Elevation – 3,466 ft
Hours in the saddle – 8:49
Wasp stings – 1
Falls – 1
Heatwaves endured – 1