Jeremy Goss Back to Bayern ride - day one
Well at least we've reached the seaside on the Back to Bayern ride.
When I say the seaside, I mean Harwich of course – not so much bucket and spade as booze and cruise judging by some of my fellow ferry passengers, but the watery edge of the country, nevertheless.
We had a great send off from Norwich Cathedral this morning, and I was genuinely touched by the well wishers who took the trouble to cheer us off.
It just happened to be one of the hottest days of the year, which hasn't exactly helped and frankly we've all roasted today, consuming more water than a camel in the desert. I have to confess that it has not been easy – and this is only day one.
At the moment, all we want to do is re-hydrate after the sweltering conditions and we've sent scouts out all over the place to buy more water.
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We said goodbye to my former team mates Ian Butterworth, Chris Sutton and Rob Newman, who joined us for the first 20-odd miles of the ride, when we reached our first pit stop at the Tivetshall Ram. I'm so grateful that they did their bit, and worked up a sweat for the first time in years. You made the effort, lads, and I can't tell you how much it means to me that you turned out to show your support.
We arrived at Harwich at about 5.30pm after riding down through south Norfolk and Suffolk, taking the foot ferry from Shotley to save a few pedalling miles. We have all suffered as a result of the heat, and here was me thinking England would be the easy bit compared with those foreign climes.
- 1 Seven fire engines called to blaze on housing estate
- 2 Person pulled from car as rain lashes region
- 3 Teenager who lost driving licence receives surprise in post
- 4 ‘It went up like a matchstick’ - Neighbour’s horror at blaze
- 5 Pedestrian suffers life-threatening injuries in A47 crash
- 6 Fire crews still at scene as investigation launched into house blaze
- 7 Jailed this week: Abuse, assaults and burglaries
- 8 Five cars and a horsebox involved in crash near RAF base
- 9 Why this Norfolk village is one of the best in the UK
- 10 Parts of Norfolk at risk of heavy downpours
The Shotley Peninsula is a lovely part of the world, but I'm really looking forward to seeing Le Continent. It's just occurred to me we'll be cycling on the 'wrong' side of the road tomorrow, so yet another thing to get my head round.
All being well we sail at 11pm tonight, and we plan to be in the saddle by 8am to find our way out of the Hook of Holland and head down towards Arnhem.
So bring it on. Let the adventure begin!
Don't forget, the whole purpose of this ride is to raise funds for the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, a local charity for local people that does fantastic work without any state funding. You can donate via Virgin Money Giving on www.nnab.org.uk, or at www.jeremygoss.co.uk/back-to-bayern/.
You can also follow my pedalling exploits on Twitter at #@11gossy. It's really rockin' and rollin' on there!