was not so long ago that we stood in sun-baked Casemates Square
in Gibraltar with a 1500 mile ultra ride ahead of us and a
cheering and smiling band of supporters including PProGM Roger
Croombe wishing us all bon voyage,
especially our own rider for Middlesex, Peter Lawrence.
might be forgiven for thinking that this was the start of
RockRide2, indeed for the casual spectator it was, for the
radio presenters and the newspapers, for the general public
this was the beginning of the adventure.For the 15 riders
who had spent 12 months straining sinews and bursting lungs
in mile after endless mile of training and practice, for the
organisers who had dedicated an equal amount of time preparing
routes, organising accommodation, logistics and transport,
for the promoters who had spent a year presenting, mailing,
fundraising and interviewing this was the culmination of the
time in their lives.
when Miss World 2010 cut the ribbon, and the cheers went up,
the moment we had all worked for was finally here
and off we set.
day’s challenges set the scene for the fortnight to
come, 35 degrees of heat, 100 miles and a climb of over one
vertical mile saw the support crew aghast at the sheer grit
of the riders each of whom pushed beyond the point of most
people’s endurance and kept going through a mixture
of physical brilliance and a desire not to let their charities
down and the first
day was complete.
day saw different challenges from the Hill of Death on the
3rd day to the sheer breath sapping distances of the Plains
of La Mancha and the long unbending roads of Western France.
the fortnight progressed the camaraderie was sometimes tested
but never failed and, as we got within the last few days before
reaching the Normandy Coast, the enthusiasm, banter and japes
mellowed subtly into a quite determination as pains, injury,
soreness and fatigue tested all; but one thing was certain;
no-one was going to give in.