Charity Bike Ride – They Made It!
May 8, 2014
We recently told you how staff were to take part in a gruelling 173 mile charity bike ride to
raise money for our nominated charity Macmillan. Well they’re back from the ride and living to tell the tale, here’s a reflection of the trip first-hand from one of our riders…
Day One – Wednesday 2nd April, 6:31am
I never start at 8am. It’s twirly. Oh well, nearly ready for the off from Menzies Glasgow, just need to have some haggis for brekky to fuel us up for the morning. Weather is cool (really it’s cold but I just saw a Glaswegian walking to work in shorts and a t-shirt) but should be dry until about 5pm. Simon, the man with the map, came down with tonsillitis yesterday but is still riding. Phew! He’s welsh. All that’s left to do is ride it. Here we go…
Day One – Wednesday 2nd April, 10:56pm
An Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotsman, a Scotswoman and a Welshman walk in to a bar. In Carnoustie!!!! We only flippin’ made it (in a shade over 12 and a half hours!). Not a single ray of sunshine all day and a steady cold easterly wind in our faces the whole time. But the beer tastes oh so good.
Day Two – Thursday 3rd April
We were a bit creaky this morning to be fair, some tired wee faces appeared at breakfast at 8.30am. Except wee Alan. He had made sure he consumed a tank full of ‘Glasgow unleaded’ (also known as lager), the night before so was raring to go. We had decided on a later start as the ride was shorter today at just under 70 miles (if we didn’t go wrong anywhere) how naïve. So, after our night in the three Penthouse Suites at Carnoustie Hotel and an encouraging wave off from Gordon the Hotel Manager, we peddled forth in the rain. April, in Scotland!
Just out of Carnoustie we dropped on to the A92 towards Arbroath. Abandoned on the
verge was a bike – a sign of things to come? It was pretty easy going through Arbroath and onto Montrose, so easy that David decided he had to have a lie down and so clipped Simon’s back wheel, exited through the front door and face-planted the verge. Oooof! Nice one. We tried to help but it was hard through the tears…of laughter! A quick dust down and a check that, yes, he had landed on his head so no chance of any major damage. Straighten the bars, get the mud out of the front light and carry on.
At Montrose we stopped to buy lunch and then hit one the big climbs of the day. The weather by now was April-esqe: freezing cold, wet, low cloud. Perfect. Who decided to do this in April?! Simon and I were making good progress (or so we thought) when we were overtaken by a tractor.
Michelle (from Glasgow’s kitchen) was the star performer having probably had some form of ‘performance enhancing substance’ for breakfast, or Tennants as it is called up here. She was on the front at a constant pace, churning out the miles, always with a smile on her face (although it could easily have been a grimace).
At Inverbervie we found a café with a fire and hot soup. We clearly looked bedraggled and sorry enough that some of the locals took pity on us and donated £25.00, result!
At the top of the next long climb Alan’s knees needed replacing, so we called Kirsten and she duly supplied
two new knees in the form of some Ibuprofen. Next stop was a picnic area just above Stonehaven where wee Alan stopped in a puddle and noticed bubbles of air coming from his back tyre – our first puncture! A quick change of tube (not easy with cold hands and thin rims) and we were flying down the soaking wet, twisting road in to town where we all met at the bottom. Except Alan – chain off part way down. We fixed that and slogged it up the hill (I say hill but this thing just went on and on) out of Stonehaven and on towards Aberdeen.
On the final run into Aberdeen I’m following Alan when unfortunately we noticed he had another puncture, same rider, same wheel. To be fair to Alan he was ready to launch his wheel in to the Dee but Simon caught it. And then smacked his head on the tailgate of the support car for the 47th time today.
Finally all fixed we hit Aberdeen ring road at around 5.45pm and made our way trouble free up to Dyce and to the Menzies Aberdeen Airport Dyce. We were met with Champagne, Beer, Easter eggs and a warm Dyce welcome. Fantastic. We had made it! Cold, yes. Wet, yes. Tired, yes. But we made it in one piece. Flowers for Kirsten – how can anyone stay so calm when five idiots continually ignore just about every instruction given. What a Saint.
Thank you to all of those who have donated, so far £2,000 has been raised for our nominated charity Macmillan, to show your support please donate at www.justgiving.com/menzieshotels