Woken at 4am in the morning by the driving rain and morning delivery at our neighbouring Somerfield, day three didn’t start well. The terrain was set to be kinder but the relentless horizontal rain would take no prisoners. This called for a moment of genius on my part as after realising my water proof ‘cycling’ jacket was neither water resistant nor conducive to cycling, or any sport, emergency repairs were needed.
The ride started well with ‘Spotter’ Sean out ahead of the pack for the thankless task that no man wants, but thinks can do better, to map yet another seamless route. He continued to stand by his philosophy of “I know the sign says Cardiff, but ask yourself, does it really mean it??”, and it pulled us through once again and he still found time to shed a tear on reaching his homeland.
Our latest stage of the journey saw us cross into new counties and countries, crossing the Avon and Severn Bridges on route. This third gruelling day drove home to the team that if we had any doubt of the challenge we'd signed up to, we certainly didn’t now.
Meanwhile, the dry warm hotel had to wait as the 95 mile monsoon hindered ride had its usual interruptions. First a trip to Asda for Stevo ‘Captain Fury’ to purchase cream for his swollen forehead, apparently from a mysterious wasp sting and not from chewing one or just over frowning in general as the team suspect. Neil did his best to break momentum by again overloading his bike, breaking a spoke and buckling a wheel in the process, puncturing the tyre of the replacement bike within five minutes of straddling it, dropping his sunglasses twice and pulling us all over so he could adjust his seat and camel toe. A committee meeting was called late last night to decide whether to release Neil of his duties. But then he does camp so well and we need him in for comedy value. He will learn of the decision via the circulated minutes.
Stage three of the tour complete and the team I know are looking forward to the next challenge of showing no respect to the Welsh Valleys, testing the notion of what goes up, must come down. We’ve seen little proof of that so far.