August 19, 2014, by David Greenaway
The VC’s Life Cycle 4 Blog: Day 4 – Worthing to Hythe
Today Marion was riding in honour of Abbie Mifsud, whose parents came to welcome us at Hythe this evening. Marion commented: ‘Abbie was a special little girl, who added much to the lives of all who knew her. Riding in honour of Abbie had made the whole challenge personal for me, and spurs me on when days are long and tough. Abbie’s parents are truly inspirational, and their desire to find treatments for this devastating disease is very humbling’.
Having had some time to work on my blog yesterday evening, I was actually ready to leave with pretty well everyone else for the first time on this challenge, which was great. I rode out the first 10 miles to Brighton with Doug, because we knew Pam and Mike White were waiting at the Grand Hotel to wave us through; as were Sam Redfern, a Nottingham graduate and contemporary of Doug’s; Jian Chen, another graduate and faculty member at UNNC; as well as Julie and Julie. It was a nice reception party.
For the rest of the day I had the pleasure of riding with a big group, which always included Karen, Chris J, Marion, Svenja, Nieves and Esteban; and most of the time included Nick. We saw all of the other riders at various points and at one stage there were 13 riding in a long string. It was a great sight, with everyone in their Life Cycle shirts. It made me very proud.
We moved through Brighton, towards Eastbourne. Between Southsea and Eastbourne, there is a gruelling four mile climb to Beachy Head, followed by a very sharp descent into Eastbourne, where we ended up at Fusciardi’s Ice Cream Parlour on the front. It was a great recharge made more notable by: (a) the owners discounting a bill for 13 riders and adding a donation; (b) a number of customers making donations; and (c) it being the place where Julie Miles had her first ever student job.
As you can see Doug was very happy with the venue.
From Eastbourne we headed to Pevensey Bay, through Hastings and Rye, en route to Hythe. It was lovely terrain, for the most part very flat, and taking in lovely villages of south Sussex and south Kent, with a final stop at New Romney, when all 15 riders were again in the same place at the same time.
Weather conditions were again with us, dry with tail winds. All of us were actually at the hotel in Hythe by around 17:00, to be welcomed by Abbie Mifsud’s parents, Sam White’s parents and two of our colleagues from CARO, Louise Hemming and Jen Wickham. David R and Ottilie also cycled the route, were in shortly after, and able to join us for dinner.
At dinner we also had Dr Jian Chen from our Nottingham Confucius Institute. The Institute had already raised £1,500 for LC4 via a fundraising concert, and last night Dr Chen announced a further £1,000 donation.
Now to team matters. No punctures or mechanical failures, as far as I am aware. But one accident: me.
As we were riding from Rye to Hythe, Susan and I drifted too close and made contact. In taking evasive action I turned, hit a kerb and was thrown clear of my bike, landing on my shoulder. So I have bruised and lacerated fingers (some at the very tip, which is inconvenient for typing), a scraped knee and very painful shoulder. I am not looking forward to riding tomorrow!
It was bad enough, but two things stopped it being nastier. First, my cleats disengaged cleanly so I was actually thrown clear of my bike, rather than with the bike. Second, I had a good helmet. The secondary impact was on my head, the helmet shell and padding is cracked, but my head is fine. I am always amazed at the number of cyclists I see on the roads without helmets. They work. Had I not had one on, it could have been a different story.
Steve disappeared for long periods today. Rumour has it he heard there are retirement homes which only take retired accountants and he is scoping them out.
First at breakfast in our Worthing hotel Nieves to Chris J: ‘Chris, this coffee is almost as bad as the breakfast coffee at The Orchard Hotel’. Chris does not take kindly to put downs of The Orchard.
Second, when Karen was attending to my various cuts, pulling out plasters, Savlon and so on, a tampon dropped out. ‘You won’t be needing that’ she said. Susan’s helpful comment was ‘They are very good for nose bleeds’. Fortunately I did not have a nose bleed.
Third, Nieves again: ‘Daniel (Hallgarten) is mounting a challenge to the authenticity of yesterday’s blog’. My response was ‘Did I get my Spanish wrong?’. ‘No’ she replied, ‘your Spanish is perfect’. Take note, Esteban.
But, Daniel’s challenge was a fair one: it was late when I was writing; I had in mind his support for the Law School, even if I know he is a Chemistry graduate, and referred to him as a Law graduate. It is a fair cop, and I have paid a £5 fine tonight, and have posted a picture as proof. (Paul claims the cuts on my fingers were sustained getting the fiver out of my wallet!).
I have to have a Team of the Day today, and it has to go to the group I was with when I had my fall. Karen, Marion and Susan sorted out plasters, creams and glucose; Steve went to the house opposite to see if he could get bigger plasters and came back with a bag full, plus a knee support from the owner; and Nieves took pictures.
I understand there has been a suggestion from the British Neuro-Oncology Society that David W’s LC4 calendar portrait might be used for recruitment. That seems to have triggered another entry, again on behalf of David W. At this rate he will have a calendar to himself.
So another 85 miles covered today, taking our total to 393, and taking in all six coastal counties of the south of the UK. Tomorrow we turn north west and will face our first head winds. Early in the day we will pass 400 miles, and there will be less than 1,000 miles to go….
Finally, as we are leaving the seaside and heading inland, Helen bought us all a stick of rock.
Professor Sir David Greenaway
I’ll second the thought on helmet-less riders – hope you’ve got a brand new one sorted for the rest of the ride. Wishing all of you safe travels.
Ouch! I hope you are doing okay today, David. The fingers look painful but the shoulder sounds even more so. Glad that the team (and local neighbours) were on hand with medicinal resources and also a good supply of humour which always helps (unless laughing jars the injuries!). Thinking of you (all).
Dear oh dear DG – I knew when I called last night something had happened but with your usual resilience you have moved on and will not be deterred – all of which has got your where you are today. Doug looks as if he is enjoying himself and that ice cream far too much for such a gruelling trip! Hope the good weather continues to stay with you though I know the winds will be more of a challenge from now on and here’s hoping the shoulder will not be too painful. Am coming armed with various supports, spare helmet, compresses etc. Well done to everyone, there is obviously a fantastic team spirit holding everyone together. Keep safe all. Susan X
Sorry about your accident, it sounds like you were in good hands though. I hope the shoulder doesn’t give you too much aggravation today. Very much enjoying the blogs. Looking forward to seeing you all on the 31st safe and sound. Best wishes Clare
Goodness David. Ouch. You couldn’t have had better nursing attention (in Lady G’s absence of course!) and I am sure Esteban has given you one or two tips (or more?!) on treating that shoulder injury. I confess that when I got to Karen’s quote I laughed so heartily that Luke insisted on knowing what I was reading that was so funny. I didn’t feel I was quite ready for the necessary explanations so I said it was the calendar photo of David W (which did also precipitate a giggle).
Anyway, another highly enjoyable blog and another day of armchair admiration for all that you guys are doing. Body parts are probably getting a bit sore and achey but keep your chins up! You are doing a fabulous job. K
PS I am concerned for the welfare of the pink chicken. Did it get run over?
Goodness – what an eventful day! Carry on with care. Thinking of you all – best wishes from Portsmouth. Tricia x
Glad to hear that my former employers at Fuscardi’s were so good to Lifecycle 4 – Don’t remember that sort of generosity when I was scooping ice cream for far less than the minimum wage back in my college days!
Hope that you all keep safe as you turn into the wind and head inland.
The strength of spirit amongst the team is fantastic.
Sorry about the challenge David: rules are rules, even for a knight.
But I can see that it was an honest mistake: I am spending so much of my life in the company of lawyers (Nieves excepted, obviously) that it is probably beginning to show. Your swift restoration of my honour deserves a matching contribution. I look forward to Paul relieving me of it.
Glad the tumble wasn’t worse and you had QMC’s finest in attendance.
Hope the bumps and brusises aren’t going to cause too much discomfort today! And relieved that you had medical support at hand. Otherwise, sounds like a good day and great to see everyone is in such good spirits – keep going. You’re making fantastic progress!
Just catching up on LC4 progress from here in Croatia. All looking terrifically impressive so far but please don’t have any more accidents! Hugely impressed by all of your efforts. And great to see all of the support along the way. Keep it up!
Am hugely enjoying these blogs. They’re taking on soap opera status in the CARO office (“The Only Way is Essex . . Sussex. . . Kent . . .Wiltshire . . .” And I suspect that at the end of it all it may well be worth collecting them together for publication – the story of our Lifecycle. Brilliant!
I cycled to and from work yesterday in preparation for the Team CARO 50 miler on the 31st – Ripley to Nottingham via Codnor, Heanor, Ilkeston, Trowell and Wollaton Vale with the return trip taking in the delight that is Trowell to Cossall…. 31 miles in total (with an 8 hour gap in the middle…) and it was horrifying. Until now I must confess that I have never fully appreciated the enormity of what you are all doing, the pain, the sore bums, the super-fast cars that don’t care how close they are to you, the resolve to keep going despite all this. Day after day after day, with no wife waiting at home for you to furnish you with a beer and a pie as you stagger through the door wailing like a child. Keep going, we’re all proud of you here at CARO 🙂
Doug, good to see you taking a well-earned ice cream break. That was a clever idea to carry a couple of spare cycle tyres around your waist.
Well done though – and keep it up everyone – we’ve heard a few horror stories about all your various injuries & ailments. It sounds quite gruelling & intense.
Anyone would have thought from the photos it was all about eating ice cream, lying on beaches and collecting money – I’d have joined on that basis!! Seriously though, just hearing some of the tales from Louise Hemming this morning and I continue to be amazed at all your resilience – keep on finding the energy and the moments of rest, inspiration and motivation!
Dear me, Sir David! Hope you have a smooth and painless day today and look forward to the updates. Really enjoying the blog. Greetings from “monsooned-up” Rangoon!
Sorry to hear about the tumble from the bike. The array of dressings reminds me of a similar fall when I came too close to a cycling companion and ended up in the verge. A couple who happened to be driving past on that narrow country lane stopped and hastily trotted over to check whether a. they had caused the accident (which they hadn’t), and b. provide any medical supplies from their in-car first aid kit. Having just purchased the vehicle, it was the first time they’d opened the kit and to their surprise all they found were eye patches. So we continued the rest of our bike ride with eye patches on shoulders, elbows, knees and shins, encountering strange looks along the way!
Hope the lacerated fingers are soon on the mend.. it wouldn’t be the same without your daily blog!
That aside, my main thought today has been for the inspirational little girl Abbie, for her family and for Marion who has risen to this significant challenge to ride in Abbie’s honour.
[…] example, after getting to Brighton, the team (supposedly) went back to Southsea. If you look at the blog entry for this day (day 4), it […]