Monday, 10 March 2014
Day 8 & 9
After not a lot of sleep it was a tough start leaving Trowbridge. Directions were once again working against us, Steve managed to cycle 14 miles yet still be only 4 miles from Trowbridge. We eventually gave up on trying to use the cycle directions and decided to just follow the A roads that Steve knows in order for him to be able to get his head down and ride. We had the road bike fixed (once again) and transferred him onto it around 17 miles in. Steve was in a lot a pain with his knee whilst riding but was managing to plough on. The roads were unkind to him with a lot of hills, at one point we had to go into first gear to get the car up, which should give you an idea of the gradient. We were making steady progress but after 37 miles we pulled Steve in and he was in an enormous amount of pain, he felt he physically couldn't ride any further. At this point Steve could hardly even walk and we had to give him help for him to get in the van. We made the despising here that this was the end of the road for the challenge. Even the slightest touch of his knee was agonising. Mentally he was still very determined and heartbroken at the thought of having to call it a day. We drove onto the next hotel in order for Steve to rest. At dinner we decided that Steve would attempt to ride again the next day for as far as he could physically manage but it looked unlikely that he would make even 5 miles as he was struggling to even walk from the room to dinner.
Steve set off from Okehampton with the plan to meet us at short intervals and we would go for a long as possible. We were shocked when he hit the 10 mile point, he was still in horrendous pain but the fact that this would be his last day of cycling was spurring him on. Steve said "the faster I do this, the less time I will be in pain for" When he stopped at 17 he looked very ill, his nose was bleeding and he looked drained, after some food and rest he insisted on getting back on the bike. From this point on we met Steve every 7 miles and he was doing the stints in record time - sometimes we were struggling to park and prepare a drink before he was at the side of the van! At one point we pulled over and he drove straight on by smiling! The entire journey was a series of large inclines and everytime Steve managed to get up one of the hills we were extremely surprised. When we told Steve we had made it to Cornwall we broke him and he cried with happiness. This news gave him that last burst that he needed and that's when he said 'I'm going to make it all the way to Penzance' (another 45 miles) from then on we continued to pull him off the road every 5 or 8 miles depending on terrain. We made it to Penzance while it was still light.t 92 miles cycled!! On the day we told him to stop, I think this proves how stubborn he is!