Triple figure mileage was the order of the day today. 100 miles through Yorkshire from Harrogate to Newark; 100 miles for 100 Band of Brother riders on Hero Ride 2015.
For this tight group of riders there was nothing standing in the way of hitting the tarmac in top gear, literally. The route was the flattest of seven days riding with an elevation change of + 2480 / - 2806 ft, however distance wise, this was the furthest amount taken on in one day on all the Hero Ride routes this year. I think we can see now why this is called a challenge, not just a charity bike ride.
With quite a large group of 60+ following the culmination of the North 450 and 260 we were joined by a few more amazing chaperones from Andy Cook cycling to look after the riders. They do a simply awesome job ensuring every cyclist is riding right, safe and making the most of every mile.
The somewhat chilly start to the day fooled us and 25 miles in, at the first water stop, cycling jackets were packed away! There have been a few subtle panda eye sightings over the past few days; the weather has been incredibly kind (commentator's curse? We’ll see).
On to the next 35 miles of smooth tarmac, with a variety of stunning roads and perfect cycle tracks, the riders carved through to the lunch stop where a feast of chilli con carne was put on at Haxey Memorial Hall and members of the public were out in full support to cheer the riders in. This morning stint covered more miles alone than the 450 covered in their first day and a half-just puts the colossal effort into perspective, especially from the BoBs taking part on recumbent bikes.
Onwards we went to conquer the third stint, a manageable 20 miles through to East Drayton for a lovely slice of cake (another cyclist must have) and through to the final 20 miles of the day reaching the picturesque town of Newark where some of the cyclists stopped in at the 1000 year old castle for a few historic photos.
Longer ride today but in terms of euphoria; day 4 has to be the winner-the feeling reflected in the smiles on everyone’s faces when they arrived at the hotel in Newark. The 100 miles had been obliterated in a massive team effort and turned into the most amazing memories no one will forget.
Mark Holmes, a participant on the North 450 said this evening: “Riding so far has been beyond inspirational. Speaking with the Band of Brothers on this ride I’ve seen first-hand how Help for Heroes takes a wreck and builds the individual into a super hero. What H4H does is almost an overachievement, but I mean that in a completely positive way. If your aim is to walk again, through H4H you’ll be running a marathon.”
You climb mountains by concentrating on your footsteps. Dinner is at 1930.
Fancy dress tomorrow-keep your eyes peeled for some awesome (and probably quite outrageous) pictures on social media and check out #backthe100 for rolling Twitter updates. Until then…