Finally it was here,16th August,
A day I have been waiting for all year, the start of the Lap of Anglia I was nervous and excited all at the same time, and still wondered if I could actually manage to ride over 400 miles in 4 days.
The meeting point was at the QEH, packing the van, greeting everyone and sorting last minute problems did not take long so just after 8 am 45 riders gathered on the helipad, a few photos were taken and then a peloton of Red jerseys set off on a 4-day adventure.
First stop of the day was just down the road at Sandringham for another photo shoot and to gather ourselves together after the great send off, we then split down into smaller riding groups making it easier and safer on the roads.
We continued along the coast stopping at Holkham, Sheringham, and Walcot, where they served the most delicious Salted Caramel Ice cream before ending the day In Norwich after riding 97 miles.
The Holiday Inn provided great accommodation even allowing us to take our bikes to our rooms, where some I believe even washed their bikes in the shower, tut, tut !!!!
After a fabulous breakfast, and a few laughs and jokes with fellow riders we set off in the rain for another day of riding, sticking close to the coast, we called in at Wroxham, Great Yarmouth, Leiston, Melford, and finished in Ipswich after 109 miles. luckily by the time, we arrived in Great Yarmouth the rain had stopped and the sun came out to help us on our way.
You never had to think about how many miles you were covering in a day, as each stretch was never longer than 29 miles, then the magic support van would always appear and you could mingle and chat with the other riders as well as refuel before setting off on your travels again.
The third day was the day I was most looking forward to and dreading at the same time, riding mainly in the flatlands I wasn’t sure how I would cope with the climbing but this was my chance to find out. Same routine, stopping every 20/25 miles calling in at Acton, Ridgewell, Saffron Waldron, Letchworth and finishing at Luton after 99 miles. A total of 5.190 feet of climbing and I was happy, even the few rain showers didn’t bother me some people mentioned the wind but, to be honest, I hardly noticed it as my mind was on the hills
Far too quickly it was the fourth and final day, I really did not want this adventure to end, it was going to be the longest day with 110 miles to cover but after the hilly start, we would hit the flatlands with a tail wind. We called in at Flitwick, where Tesco supplied us with Bananas, then Catworth and Stanground by then you could feel the excitement rising as we realized that we were going to make it !! Geoff surprised us with a visit too, catching us eating and drinking at the Woolpack pub. Next stop was at Parson Drove, where a children’s karaoke party was in full swing. Then we all gathered at the bank house in Kings Lynn for the victory ride back to the QEH.
Damien led us the last mile down the bypass back to QEH it was amazing, 45 riders all in Red Jerseys one after the other like a long train, the atmosphere was electric, then over the roundabout you could hear all the family and friends shouting, clapping and cheering us, a totally fabulous ending to a totally fabulous event.
I feel very proud to have been a part of such a fabulous well-organized event, I met some awesome people,had some great laughs and realized I can achieve more than I think I can and the answer to the question most people want to know is…. No, I wasn’t too sore or tired, in fact, I went out with SWNC the following day on the 100-mile ride to Cromer.