16th Aug 2017
Sunday morning saw another Further team taking on a challenge in aid of cancer charity, Big C – this time it was road cycling in the Tour de Norfolk with a team made up of Dan, Daisy, Rob, Jamal, Adam, Zak and Steve. The team arrived around 8.30am along with what seemed like a thousand others – and we assembled on the start line, an unpleasant shower providing an extra shimmer to the new tight-fitting Further teamwear.
We set off at 9am – well, all of us apart from Jamal, who had a lie-in and caught us up 20 miles later. For most of us it was our first proper ‘ride in public’ having been cajoled and coached by our expert cyclist Zak during our few months of prep. Not wishing to break everyone’s spirit for life, we all opted to ride as a team and take on the 35 mile (which actually turned out to be 38 mile) option. And what a wonderful day it turned out to be.
Dan ‘Dantani’ Coman found a love of riding the ‘mountains of Norfolk’, until the dreaded cramp set in seeing him prone on the roadside shouting for the masseurs. Steve’s ageing legs seemed full of energy, having devoured energy drinks, gels and bars like never before, a fulfilling experience only diminished by his crying need to have a toilet stop some 16 miles from the actual toilet stop! He did hold on though.
Daisy really looked the part in full bib and Rob’s old ‘go-faster’ shades. She loved the hills, but only when she was going down them. Adam was going like a train until his diesel engine suffered a puncture a few miles from home, leaving Rob ‘bicycle repair man’ Welsby to swing into action. The team, as you’d expect, stood around waiting for its fallen comrade in the now glorious sunshine, sadly being passed by hordes of those we’d already overtaken – we’re sure there was an old lady on a shopping bicycle, but it didn’t matter. As for Zak, our pro in the peleton, he just seemed to be freewheeling all the way around, making it all look so easy, going backwards and forwards keeping the pack together. A kind of pedal-powered sheepdog if you like.
All in all, it was a lovely atmosphere, lots of laughs, everyone looked out for one another, we all stuck together and we made the 35 without too much trouble to help Big C – Norfolk’s brilliant cancer charity – to celebrate its 35 years. We also managed to raise several hundreds of pounds (there’s more coming in, post event) into the bargain – and we’ve all become slightly addicted to the idea of doing it all again!
It means that so far this year Further team members have thrown themselves out of planes, played 18 holes, endured a rain-soaked colour run and, now, took in the delights of Norfolk’s countryside on two wheels for its chosen charity for 2016, Big C. If you’d like to show your support, it is not too late. The Tour de Norfolk giving page is still open.