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Penultimate Day, Ultimate Hospitality

FundraisingPosted by Stephen Collins Thu, July 30, 2009 06:27:22

A bit like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, Andrew continues the frightening metamorphosis from human to Mike (half-man, half-bike). He emerged from the hostel this morning with oil all over his clothes and legs. It seems oil now pumps around his veins, carbon fibres replacing his skin. His speed up a hill is too fast to measure.

We set off early from Fort William bound for Invergordon. Except we didn’t, as some fool (don’t ask …) suffered a puncture before a wheel was turned. It didn’t matter it was raining, as we’d barely dried out from the day before. So, off we set into the driving rain.

The long rides have had a startling effect on young Sean Roberts. On Day One, he was a wee slip of a lad, adored by truck drivers across the South East of England for his boyish looks. By Day Eleven, he has become so manly and strong, he broke his second front mech of the ride – this time on Posh Tom’s spare bike.  

Tom wept crocodile tears, knowing it would give him the perfect excuse to tell his wife, Katie, he really needed to buy a new spare Bianchi.

To while away the time as Sean’s bike was being fixed roadside, some of the lads, feeling cold and lonely and looking for love, played sardines in the cab of the van (parp, parp went Paul Kelly’s hooter under the gentle hand of the more experienced Paul Collins). 

We got going again and whizzed on past Loch Lochy (so called as it’s a bit Loch-like), then – after the now obligatory twice-daily 45 minute coffee/cake/chocolate/anything edible left in the van stop in Fort Augustus – we passed dark, brooding Loch Ness. No sign of the eponymous monster. Instead, we stopped for lunch on Drumnachdrochit green with the WAGs and children.

Post-lunch, a version of the beautiful game ensued, but not one Pele would have recognised. Blatant fouling and flopping beer bellies abounded – the numerical victory of the Abrahams’ team was cancelled out by a wicked foul on PK by the man Abrahams himself. Where was the red card ref? (Joe Marr – an otherwise exemplary driver and saviour on many occasions – missed that one).

During the afternoon, as we headed inexorably north, a strange pale yellow disc appeared in the sky. Apparently, it is called The Sun.  It was all too much for Neil, who decided to lie down in the middle of the road to wait for the next passing lorry to end his misery. Somehow it missed. But with a kind wind, we easily crossed the Moray and Cromaty Firths and finally reached Invergordon , chez Pippa and Robin. Pippa and Robin, supported by a cast of thousands of local friends, put on a lavish feast with tongues wagging, wine flowing and dancing girls (actually, I made that last bit up – but the eating, drinking and making merry are true).  Pippa and Robin’s generosity and hospitality are boundless, and we’re immensely grateful to them.

As I write this, the lads are in the garden already reflecting on the journey so far. It has been a true experience for us all – something we all feel privileged to be a part of. One day and a 100 miles to go. Now, where’s that cream?

Fill in only if you are not real

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Posted by Dan Berrevoets Fri, July 31, 2009 18:11:07

Well done to you all, I felt tired and sore reading the blog so goodness knows how you must feel. I hope you are all rehydrating properly (lots of heavy!) and look forward to catching up in person.

Posted by Emma Fri, July 31, 2009 16:11:31

Congratulations! You've done so well.

Posted by Michael O'Kane Fri, July 31, 2009 15:08:46

Congratulations lads! My only regret is that I did n't meet you for the last couple of mile for the journey to John O'Groats. But even that would have pushed the BMX too far!

Posted by Auntie Kate Thu, July 30, 2009 21:47:54

ARE WE THERE YET? (You've all asked your parents that before). Well done boys & support team. Looking forward to the next blog. Love & Congrats to you all!

Posted by Pippa and Robin Thu, July 30, 2009 17:56:01

We absolutely LOVED having you all, it was a privilage to have met you. The children were a dream you must be very proud of them all. WHY didn't some one tell me I'd burnt the porridge.....sorry and those of you who ate it, well what can I say?!! Orkney is pining for Milly and we miss you all


Posted by Virginia Thu, July 30, 2009 12:05:08

You guys are amazing....and your blog has kept me laughing for days. May your celebrations as you cross the line be awesome - you'll deserve it.


PS Tom....I like your new name...should I shorten it to posh , or would Victoria take legal action?