“Night Night” was about all Boo could manage to say after our day at The Almanack in Kenilworth. As she headed to bed, with 100 miles in her legs she commented that she aches in places she is not accustomed to feeling sore.
It was an amazing day for all of us. The staff and customers of The Almanack were supportive and encouraging and we were amazed at the number of people with an interest in tandems who came to talk to us.
Boos highlights seem to be rather food orientated as they were:
- eating ice-cream at 80 miles
- sausage & chips for lunch with plenty of ketchup
- bacon butty for breakfast with a strawberry milkshake
- taking breaks every 10 miles to stretch legs, eat & drink
- seeing the double decker bus kitted out with flowers for a wedding
- chatting to other children about the ride.
Meeting children interested in cycling was the other big encouragement for us both. Boo has been brought up with cycling as part of her life so we were encouraged to see so many children travelling through Kenilworth on balance bikes, early bikes, and on the back of parent’s bikes. Hopefully this means that once Boo is cycling without me she will have plenty of local peers to ride with.
The weather was incredible, but without the breezes you enjoy when cycling on the road, it was a little draining for us both. I lost count of the number of times we had our jug of iced water refilled. Boo made full use of the ice cubes. She was quite little when we discovered how much she enjoyed sucking and crunching ice cubes so it wasn’t really a surprise that this was her preferred method of rehydration. She even experimented with popping an ice cube in her pocket to help cool her down late in the afternoon.
Whilst she was still fresh in the morning she dragged me along on the sprints to each 10 mile marker, and whenever she felt that we weren’t working hard enough! We were both less comfortable in the afternoon due to the heat and our aching seats.
It is easier riding on rollers than on the road as you don’t have the same issues with friction, traffic, and route finding but it does have the downside of tedium. Luckily there were plenty of people for us to talk to and Boo also enjoyed demonstrating her flexibility when she needed a leg stretch.
I realised how much the talking and cycling in the heat had tired Boo out when her reaction to finally completing our 100 mile target was one of inconsolable tears.
And the reason for the tears…..
I didn’t stop pedalling sharply enough so we actually cycled 100.02 miles!
I learnt from my mistake and we stopped accurately at each of our 10 mile targets in Sainsbury’s the next day.
It was not a big surprise that we were both a little slow to move on Sunday morning, or that we invested time into the application of chamois cream. We were greeted by the welcoming staff at Sainsbury’s in Kenilworth and Boo was intrigued by her peek into what happens in a supermarket to prepare for the arrival of customers. We were soon settled back on Double Trouble with our collection buckets. After Saturday’s ride we had agreed on a target of 60 miles and we were definitely slower and steadier in our pedalling.
Well, most of the time. It seems Boo can’t resist an occasional aerodynamic sprint.
Once again there were plenty of people interested in finding out more about our ride, and our reasons for taking on such a challenge. Double Trouble, our Dawes Galaxy Twin attracted many positive comments and also introduced us to many people who have tandem riding experience, or hopes for tandem riding.
This time we finished on exactly 60 miles and Boo was much happier to celebrate!
We had an even bigger reason to celebrate our day in Sainsbury’s as the hugely supportive team presented us with this trolley full of supplies to help us on our LEJOG ride. Boo excitedly checked that it included her energy snacks (she is still unconvinced by the energy gels and bars that I use on our rides) and her face lit up at the sight of her favourites.
We want to say a massive thank you to all the shoppers and staff at Kenilworth Sainsburys for their support for our tandem ride in store on Sunday.
We would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to Jo and Karen from the management team and to Craig for all his hard work in finding the eclectic items on our list!
When we are riding our LEJOG route I know that the memories of this weekend and the lovely people we met will help to motivate us. We were both inspired by their supportive and encouraging comments and kind and generous donations.
And how do you celebrate the completion of 160 miles on rollers in one weekend with your nine year old daughter? In our case it had to be a water fight before meatballs with her grandparents.