Busy O2E Time!! 23/07/14
The write up you have been waiting for from Timbo and Sponge-an absolute monster of an adventure in every way-huge tks and congratulations to you both with a staggering amount of money raised. Laurel and Hardy write:
Vancouver to Mexico - The Numbers.
We've been back just over a week now (and not been on a bike since!!!) - and the ride already seems a life time ago! (although drinking gallons of Coors Light and eating Cobb salads and burgers daily to keep a little flavour of the states going). But all the aches and pains and memories of the tough days have faded, (bar the one enormous climb - which will haunt us forever). Leaving just the memories of how amazing the whole adventure was. Very difficult settling back into old routines! So probably need to start planning that around the world ride??? But in the meantime, thought you might like to see some numbers!
Vancouver to the Mexican border at San Ysidro/Tijuana. (over 23 days - 21 cycle days and 2 rest days).
Having spent months plotting the route on GPS, pre-booking hotels, and generally sorting kit I completely forgot to train! (apologies to Kevin on that one - he was very patient for about 21 days). So we set off from the UK to Vancouver on Friday 13th June. We barely had time to rebuild the bikes and have a whistle stop tour of Vancouver before we were off. Day 1 was Sunday 15th June. Mileagewise an easy day, but with some complications. We had to find a bike transporter to get us through a tunnel you cannot cycle, get to a ferry for a specific time, and then find our way down through Vancouver Island to Victoria for another ferry. And amazingly all went to plan. Even the weather was with us on this first day. By the time we crossed from Victoria to Port Angeles though, the weather had turned and it was freezing. And stayed that way with the added bonus of waking up to bucketing rain. We had 100 miles to do day 2 and it was raining for 90 of them. We had envisaged rain and wet conditions - but not the cold. It really was fecking cold. Mostly down to the strong headwinds we experienced every blooming day. Which is completely contrary to what we expected and what is usual this time of year. We should have had tail winds! Was the only enduring bad luck we had. (So shouldn't grumble - but we did - a lot).
The route took us down through Washington, Oregon and into California.(way, way more mountainous than we expected). Predominantly we stuck to the coastal routes 101 and Highway 1, but we did travel inland a couple of times. Once you climb over the mountains/hills that protect the coastline there is a major climate change. What a stark difference in temperature. So much so that the water in our bottles heated up to the point that throwing a teabag in would have been more appropriate than salt and electrolyte tabs. Made for disgusting drinking. It also meant we had to climb back out onto the coastal route. Which on one occasion involved the longest and biggest climb "I" (not Kevin), have ever done. Brutal. Extremely hot and with horrendous gusting headwinds and pretty narrow roads in places. Not nice. But massive descent afterwards which went on soooo long hands were cramping with braking!
After the first 4/5 days it did start to feel a bit of a grind getting up and facing 80-120 milers, depending on the stage. But after a further 4/5 days we seemed to have mastered the routine and packing and were getting on with things nicely. An 80 mile day started to feel like a bonus as it was quite short? When we split 120 plus a rest day into 2 x 60's no rest day, it felt like a breeze. Although one of these 60mile days ended up at just over 70 - and as it turned out, it was the biggest day in terms of total ascent! Glad we changed it to two days - not sure we would have managed it as a 120 mile day! Way too much climbing.
Along the way we visited some fantastic places and met many great people. I think a stand out moment of both of us was definitely the Avenue of the Giants. This detour off the main highway through the giant redwoods is what the word "awesome" was really meant for. Its otherworldly. Also the many many fantastic and stunning coastal scenes, and massive woodlands and mountains were all stand out moments. As were the many enormous bridges we cycled over. I am not good with heights!!! Not least of which, the Golden Gate Bridge. That was a pretty special moment.
One of the beauties of cycling is the senses you experience, that you don't get when driving. Like the smell of the ocean. At one point we were on a particularly backwater stage, and cycled for at least 15 miles through strawberry fields that were being harvested - the smell was absolutely amazing. As was the taste. The other often present smell was wild fennel. And BBQ. The Pacific Coast Highway must be the GLOBAL centre for massive 5th wheel and whinniebago style motor homes. And they BBQ morning, noon, and night.
Sadly, there was another smell we became all to accustomed to - skunk!!! There was a lot of road kill skunks. The smell starts about half a mile from the poor dead critter. And it is rank! And lingers and lingers and lingers.
As you move from the north to the south the scenery changes quite drastically. As it does when you move inland. The lush green of the north starts to give way to drier, arid, and at times almost desert like scenery. And as you get toward Santa Barbara, and down to Laguna Beach and San Diego palm trees start to become apparent. And reaching the border to Mexico - was just surreal. Unreal.
The ride was a smorgasbord of great people, places, things.
And great times.
Funds raised to date (22/07/2014) - £12,000.01. An amazing show of generosity. EXTRAORDINARY!!!!!!
Mileage - c1,900 miles
21 Days on the saddle.
Average Daily Mileage - c90.0 miles Longest days Mileage - 122 miles
Total Ascent - c33,000m
MOST AMAZING STATISTIC - Number of punctures - ZERO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But we had one snapped/severed seat post, 1 snapped luggage rack bracket, & 3 broken spokes.
We used several tubes of Savlon, and far too many to count, ibuprofen tabs. And nearly as many cable ties!
Thanks again to all of you who have supported us along the way, (especially Sue Smith who is really single-handed responsible for the monies raised) and thanks to those that made such generous donations. After all that is really the point.
It really is a fantastic total that all o2e charities will benefit from enormously and will be filled with huge gratitude.
Tough act to follow but:
An amazing adventure in the Alps and Dolomites starting south of Munich and travelling through Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy to finish at Lake Garda.
Famous five of Klaus, Jonesy, Slatts, Ollie and Johnny had an absolute blast in the most idyllic and stunning scenery as we worked our way through the mountains ticking off our daily mileage, climbs and a few more climbs
To most of us mountain biking is a completely new sport with a whole new level of skills needed to navigate our way through a wide variety of terrain but the banter ( PUT ME DOWN FOR EVERYTHING ) and team spirit was strong and with the power of laughter helped us achieve our goal ( not without many cuts, bruises and crashes )
Jonesy-Joey-Highest IQ-Most cut legs-Smartest designer gear
Johnny-Trigger-Just behind Joey on IQ-Most crashes-Loudest man in the Alps
Slatts-Gonzo-Barry Chuckle-Best Ali G impression-Generally top bloke
Klaus-Little Legs-Best schoolboy impression-Most languages spoken ( 2 won it )
Ollie-Shergar-All round Mr nice guy-Best horse impression-Far too good at cycling
Last of the summer wine conquers the Transalps was right up there-absolutely top drawer…..well done chaps…
Girl Power is back-another huge challenge from our girls. Sandra, Tania and Amanda nailed their 200k challenge-Many congratulations-Brilliant challenge-Sandra writes:
We’re back from Holland. 200km in four days... DONE!!!!
Apart from the punishing 3am wake-up calls, tiredness, feet on fire and the blistering heat (35 degrees), we managed the distance without any blips nor major tantrums and rewarded ourselves with a well-earned beer every night.
We absolutely love this event and can’t wait to go back next year for our fourth time.
Good luck to all 48 taking part at the Olympic Velodrome on Sunday-will be a brilliant experience and great fun-need to see some O2e colours on show!!
Will Jason Kenny’s flying 200m record of 9.713 seconds be broken?????
Good luck Finn who heads off to Iceland on Thursday for his 2014 challenge. Finn will be starting from Reykjavik and cycling anti-clockwise using the ‘ Golden Circle ‘ as his route reference which takes in many of Iceland’s many stunning geological wonders. The on/off road 500k route, wind and terrain will be challenging but sure the views and endorphins will help Finn get through the days and guarantee the whole experience will have lifelong memories
Many tks to you all for everything you are doing!!!!!
Well Timbo and Sponge have finished their epic 2000 mile adventure bang on time on Timbo’s 50th birthday!!!!!
This is without doubt the most remarkable O2e Challenge yet and a journey filled with lifetime memories.
Will get a full write up from the boys when they return and sure they are enjoying a couple of cold beers and reminiscing the journey as we speak.
Not only have Timbo and Sponge completed a huge physical challenge they have raised over £10,000 for O2e in the process!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EXTRAORDINARY in every way Kev and Tim…..Absolutely top drawer xxx
Many thanks to Siobhan, Skells and everyone from BRC that helped make their superb Hills Challenge happen. There was a choice of two fabulous routes, 60k and 100k, taking us through some beautiful Kent villages on quiet roads.
The day was a great success with 150 riders!!!!!!!!!
Put it in your diary for next year as is a great local event.
Top drawer BRC
As one event finished another one starts
Best of luck to Ollie ( Shergar ), Klaus ( Little Legs ), Jonesy ( Joey ), Slatts ( Gonzo ), and Johnny ( Trigger ) on their Transalps Mountain Bike Challenge.
The team are ready for long days in the saddle with some climbing, climbing and a bit more climbing as we cross the Alps and Dolomites staying in ski resorts and mountain huts for this 6 day challenge.
This update has a 50th theme with Jonesy, Slatts and Johnny joining Timbo’s exclusive club, Klaus not too far behind and Ollie unable to find any friends his own age.
Best of luck boys-what are we all going to do for our 60th? (game of chess probably )
Our Bungee/London to Brighton girls are at it again!
This time they are travelling to Holland to take part in the '4daagse' Nijmegen Marches from 15.-18. July with 46'000 other international participants.
In true Amanda, Tania and Sandra (and obviously O2e) style we have signed up for the 'biggie' and will do the longest available distance, 200km over 4 days starting every day at 4am. Not enough sleep, shredded feet and blisters are guaranteed but we are super excited for our next challenge :)
See you on the other side!
Another monster-very best of luck ladies
Many thanks to you all for continued support
Good luck to all taking part in BRC Hills Challenge on Sunday 6th.
Not too late to enter-you can also register on the day
This really is a great ride through the Garden of England starting and finishing at Beckenham Rugby Club.
For those of you not familiar with the event here are some details to help you decide on the distance you would like to do. The BRC Hills Challenge is a Charity Sportive with two route options, both taking in some of the most iconic climbs in the local area.
This is followed by a family fun ride around the local area, a BBQ and Charity Raffle. Entry to the Hills Challenge is £30 and includes a free BBQ meal on return.
You can enter and pay on line via the British Cycling link below or enter and pay on the day.
We are also delighted to announce that former Tour De France rider, winner of the Tour De Luxembourg and now the professional coach at Cadence Performance Cycling in Crystal Palace – Matteo Carrara – will be riding the Epic Hills Challenge route on the day.
Please note that ALL monies raised through the event entry fee and raffle goes to our Charity "Ordinary to Extraordinary"
If you would like to participate please sign up as soon as possible or enter and pay on the day.
Please go to: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/105911/BRC-Epic-Hills-Challenge#entry
If you do not wish to cycle the event but would like to take part, we need volunteers to help with the following:
- Putting up taking down directional signage
- Marshalling on the day (friends and family of those cycling the event)
- Donating prizes for the raffle
Many thanks to Siobhan, Skells and all BRC for their continued support
Happy training and enjoy the sunshine
Tks and best
Happy Monday 30/06/14
Posse have joined the 200 Mile Club!!!!
Many congratulations to Mark, Jamie, Tudor & Nick on their Longest Day Challenge
Just under 15 hours in the saddle with the added challenge of getting back before closing time a major incentive!
Simply Extraordinary and well out of comfort zones…………………….. see attached
Timbo and Sponge are well into their 2000 mile challenge
and having the experience of a lifetime (well Timbo is-for Sponge this is a short ‘ long weekend break )
Our boys are on track and eating up the miles (hilly miles) with some long days and weary legs. Their fund raising page has been on fire and nearly at £9,000!!!!!!!!-absolutely top drawer
Keep on pedalling boys xx
Still have a few places left for Olympic Velodrome Track experience
first come first served……….. Contact me if you fancy it
Second Reccy of Big Kev's Invasion Ride is in the bag
As you can see the guys packed a lot in over the weekend. Places still available so if not signed up and fancy it visit Kev's Signup
6th July-BRC Hills Challenge
15th Nov-best night of the year, Gala Dinner at The Brewery
Many tks as always