Monday, October 5, 2009

Final Day Catch Up...

I'm back in London after a lovely couple of days of decompression in Edinburgh...

I did read through the comments left on the post I made on Day 33 (both here at gormano.blogspot and on facebook where the blog is automatically imported) and I don't mind admitting that it wasn't long before the wave of warmth and support had me shedding a lovely tear. Thanks all.

So here's how Day 33 panned out...

At just under 14 miles it wasn't a very long ride:
And while the last seven miles were uphill it wasn't especially steep...
But what was against us was the weather. It was raining heavily and the wind was raging... and Caithness is so flat that when the wind gets up there's really nothing to get in its way. If we'd have been doing the ride 24 hours later we'd have had 80mph winds to contend with and that might have meant it was impossible.

We. Yup.

I hadn't planned on having a Human Sat Nav for this ride. I figured it would be a weird thing to share with a stranger. I knew that completing such a mammoth task would have an emotional impact on me of some sort and it would be odd sharing that moment with someone I'd only just met and had only been with for an hour and a half or so. I also knew that I didn't need to have anyone show me the way... it's not as though there are several roads leading to Dunnet Head.

But I did have company. In the shape of The Delightful B. I knew she was coming up to see me at the end of the journey... but I really wasn't expecting her to volunteer to share the final ride with me. It made perfect sense. There's nobody else better placed to understand the way I'd be feeling at the end of this thing and nobody I'd rather share it with.
So it was the two of us who braved our way through the elements, with TDB on Boardman1 and me on Boardman2...





But we made it...

Here's TDB at the finishing line
I told you it was wet.
And here's me opening a celebratory bottle of champagne...
Still... there's always someone wetter...
I'm so proud of the last month. At times it's been harder than I thought but I've come through it in better shape than I imagined I would. Whenever I spoke to people who'd done long rides - Lands End to John o' Groats for instance - they all said the same thing; "when we got to our B&B, we had a bite to eat, one pint and then fell asleep." Nobody ever talked about doing 4 or 5 hours of energetic work at the end of the day but that's what I managed to do.

Doing the shows was the untestable part of the whole venture and I can't quite believe that I made every show on time and got through them all without much of a hitch.

I couldn't have done it without the messages of support from folks along the way, the Human Sat Navs - heroes every last one of 'em - and my tour manager, Ed:
This was always going to be a strange tour and because of the unusual nature of what we were doing Ed was taking on far more than the logistical and technical duties of a normal tour manager.

Now... I'm back in London. It's raining. I'm not sure what to do with myself. I might go for a little bike ride...

21 comments:

Mr Alistair said...

Well done, it looked like quite a trip, must be great to be able to say you've done it.

You must do the Dunwich Dynamo next year.. a mere 120 miles.. but over night starting in hackney ending on the suffolk coast.

Is it possible to stich all the maps together to show your overall route?

Dreamberry said...

Wow. What an achievement. Well done.

Hope your nads are still in one piece (er, two pieces) after all that time in the saddle. My dad was always fond of saying "count em don't rub em".

Looking forward to seeing you at next year's gig.

rob said...

Congratulations .. I wasn't lucky enough to be able to come see a show, but have been following your blog. It's an amazing feat, and I am seriously impressed. Same again next year?

Paul said...

Also in addition to what others have put, I want to say a great thanks for posting such interesting photos - they were excellent!

Grethic said...

Great stuff, well done. Fantastic postings throughout, it has been great fun watching your adventure unfold. Good move from TDB joining you for the end of the journey (you could have organised better weather for the poor gal though). So, what's next????

Mark said...

Many congratulations Dave.

Not just for the cycling achievement, not just for the tour (I saw you in High Wycus), but also for avoiding the obvious "I've Dunnet!" pun that you could have used to accompany the today's pics.

Well done indeed.

Elizabeth... said...

Congratulations! This is an amazing feat and I'm so happy it went well and without too many hitches. You were amazing the night I saw you in Carlisle.
:D

Edward said...

wow, congratulations, i've loved reading the blog throughout your adventure, it's been great seeing loads of places i'm familiar with (north of scotland wise) my mum and dad went to see you in inverness and said it was fantastic. Intersting fact, the lighthouse behind you in the dunnet head pics is right beside a long row of buildings containing a recording studio, i was in a band that went to record there for a week, its a great location to make alot of noise.

I'm really hoping to see you in Edinburgh next year!

congrats enjoy your wee bike ride.

verity said...

Congratulations Dave! We came to the Stoke show, so glad that you made it safe and sound!
So nice that DTB came to see you at the end -she must be very proud of you like the rest of us! And poor girl riding in all that rain, you should take her somewhere nice and hot for that :)
Take Care, Verity xx

amy grace said...

Congrats! Now how about coming back to the U.S. for a coast-to-coast bicycle tour? Pretty please?

Your Delightful B is absolutely stunning! Sweet of her to share the final ride with you.

Will said...

Congrats Dave, a great achievement in anyone's book!

I too recommend the Dunwich Dynamo next year.

One last point about your final comment. There was a boy who once fell over Niagara falls and nearly drowned. Thankfully he survived but when he woke up they asked him if he wanted anything and his first request was a glass of water.

JonnyB said...

Congratulations Dave.

I haven't commented, but I've really enjoyed the sequence of posts. It's sort of drawn me in, day-by-day. I've felt I've shared the experience with you, and that's what it's all about.

Christ, I'm knackered now. I'm going to have one beer and go to bed.

Damien said...

You are an inspiration Dave. Shook my head and smiled when I read what you were planning - and shaking my head and smiling wider now that you've successfully completed it!!
Can't wait for you to bring your new show to Australia! (Please come to Brisbane.)

Stefan said...

Well done Mr Gorman, I managed to catch the Swindon show even though I was heading from South London to Cannock at the time. Luckily I was driving and didn't have to take any extra detours for the next 32 days!

Frozen Rose said...

Congratulations! A herculean feat - well done! I thought it was you at the Neil Innes gig...

Scotty said...

Super achievement Dave!!

Really impressed by what you've managed to do. As you rightly said, it must have been tough to go and do a gig each night rather than just enjoy the local hospitality.

A well deserved pat on the back for yourself (and your support team).

Looking forward to seeing you when you tour in spring then...

Andrew Cooper said...

Wow, fantastic legs. TDB's aren't bad either.

Graham Hill said...

The cyclists curry club in Bradford cannot wait until Feb next year when you're coming to see us again. We have many years experience of eating in the curry houses in Bradford and West Yorkshire and would be truly honoured if you would consider our request to become Honorary President and join us on the 16th Feb or thereabouts. Our membership also includes an official fetcher from the Pork Pie Appreciation Society at the Old Bridge Inn Ripponden. We take this matters very seriously (not!)

Phoenix said...

What a wonderful way to end your ride :-) Mind you, looks like the weather decided to end as it started - I seem to remember it was raining the day you left The Lizard. I suspect you didn't mind too much though :-)

Anonymous said...

Been following your blog from my office in the back end of Japan. Truely inspirational. I've loved seeing your photos of the British countryside that I miss so dearly.
As we say in Japan 'o-tsukare sama deshita': thanks for all your hard work, you must be tired!

Kirstie said...

Ed is a bit of ahero in all of this not least because he has had to deal with your manky cycling kit every night! What a guy! :D