21 days in July – the 2005 Douglas Bader Foundation E2E ride re-blogged
Today is our long awaited rest day. So, for the wicked, it was up at 7am, into breakfast and on the van by 9am. Rest day means no need to ride the bike, but the show goes on…
First stop, Wirral Limb Centre, where the reception committee were clearly expecting Amps on Bikes. The original plan was to ride there but the traffic in this built up area and the sheer number of traffic lights and junctions would have been pretty tedious after 8 days in the saddle. Anyway, ice broken, we gave a brief account of our adventures thus far and took questions from the centre’s patients. One of those patients, 8 year old Philip Mitchell, told me that he really wanted to ride an ordinary bike like all his mates but he had been told he wouldn’t be able to and would have to have a trike. Philip’s got the same level amputation as me – through hip (aka hip disarticulation). I explained how I ride a normal bike and left with his address and his shoe size. All he needs is some help to get a light weight bike with the right components and he’ll be racing around and falling off just like all his mates.
Next stop, Lime Street Station, Liverpool, to drop off Fiona and her bike after her 4 day stint with us. Then onto the Donald Todd Rehabilitation Centre for more grub, another picture call and a chat to patients and staff. The centre had a huge board set up with all our profiles on it for all those passing the unit to see – good publicity.
Last stop, Anfield, for Nathan to get a picture at the gates… We got back to the Travel Inn in Stretton, Warrington by about 3pm where Big Jolly Jim Newton had a huge washing line erected in the carpark with all our washing drying on it. What a top bloke! Jim’s an Instructor with the RAF Regiment and a very handy member of the riding team. He’s ridden the E2E before in 4 days, however, that was a few years ago and when he was several kilos lighter!
Phil, pictured above with the crutches, (who was 11 at the time and not 8 as I reported) was destined to become a GB Paraclimber, which I didn’t even know was a thing until I came across this great interview at UKClimbing.