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Monday, 9 July 2012

Lee Valley to Hadleigh Farm

Now, team bikewithJake knows that our readers are clever folk so you get minimal points for guessing the weather conditions as we left Jurgita, the lovely receptionist at Walthamstow, to head for Basildon our Hadleigh Farm base.

It was wet, very wet.  Bikes loaded, goodbyes said, puncture within 50 metres of the hotel.  Sheepish return to mend said puncture within the confines of the hotel.  Philip's new tyre appeared to have an unwanted crease in it.

Ride resumed 20 minutes later, torrential downpour, straight through our no-longer waterproof, waterproof jackets, refuge under a bridge.
Philip never far from his phone
Called in to Halfords - there's a pattern here.  Nic came away with some new gloves as she was functioning on a left handed glove only, the right hand having opted to stay somewhere near Hampton Court in the sunshine.  We also acquired new waterproof jackets, at least Nic & Philip did (sorry Jake, none in your size!)

The torrential rain had subsided but we had travelled less than 2 miles in 3 hours, spent a small fortune, not fixed Jake's pedal and the standing water was not just standing but pouring down the roads in torrents.  Imagine the condition of the canal towpath.  Imagine our delight when Philip got another puncture in his other brand new tyre.

Punctures are definitely deflating, rain definitely dampens the spirits - things were very, very difficult.  At one stage we spent a long time sheltering under a tree, contemplating the safety of the onward journey as the roads filled with water and the cars drove past us at a ridiculous speed.

Onward, to shelter again, to ride through more water, to come across a proper, flowing flood covering a 20 metre stretch of road.  A car turned up, we watched, it stopped, the 'gentleman' allowed the lady to get out and paddle up to her knees trying to identify the way into their driveway.  We decided it was passable, the water came over our shoes, already drenched feet were now dwelling in water-logged footwear.
Looking back at the flood

Fresh, dry socks into cold, wet shoes

Running repairs to ensure Jake's ankle dried out as quickly as possible.

It was a very difficult day - how lovely to find the hotel easily and be greeted so well.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I so admire you guys! What are you all like/ fabulous stuff! Where do I pledge my money? Jill XXX