Thursday, 3 June 2010

Day One

Upon departure, the team pose infront of the Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol, totally unaware of the catastrophe yet to befall them.


We awoke at 7:00am, tired and nervous, and waited for a call from Rob re the situation with his brakes, which weren't working very well (problem no.1). Rob eventually informed the team that he was unable to depart at the prescheduled time, so team members Harry, James and Tom left without him. Spirits were high, and we made good time leaving Bristol, flying down the country roads with ease. However, within one hour and fifteen miles of the expedition, we encountered a terrible incident. Tom's panniers had not been strapped to his frame, and being unused to carrying such weight, he fell, as it were, "arse over tit", completely wiping out team member Harry who had been travelling close behind him. Harry flew dramatically over team member Tom, sliding gorily over the wet tarmac, causing severe lacerations and substantial blood loss.

Tom stood up, breathing heavily, thoroughly distressed at the drama that had taken place. Harry's bike (nicknamed "Lil' Claud") had been completely wrecked, the front forks totally bent out of shape. The shaken group walked to the nearest petrol station, and Mr. Tim Richards, a local architectural model maker and good Samaritan volunteered to take Harry (heavily bleeding but still well composed) to the nearest bike shop in Bath where he could accurately assess the damage.

Tom and James cycled the remaining 15 miles to Bath, only to discover that Harry had locally sourced another bicycle on the website The seller, Terry, helpfully drove the bike to Bath within half an hour, massively helping the broken team. By this point the group had unfortunately been forced to rely on support from "Mother Jude" (mother to both James and Harry - the Grahams) who ferried the battered travellers on to Shaftesbury. The travellers then resided at David's house (relation of the Grahams), who willingly provided food and shelter to a cold and withered team. Harry's bike maintenance was proving difficult, and he worked into the night, but slowly and surely he began to make progress. Rob now joined the team in Shaftesbury, his bike having been fully repaired.

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