The finish line is in sight! Well almost…just the daunting prospect of 90 miles to St Albans to go today before the short hop into London tomorrow. Having served the most hearty of breakfasts, Tom kindly guided us towards our starting point just south of Peterborough on the A660 at Holme. We found ourselves on fast roads down towards Bedford beneath chilly but clear skies once Paul’s overnight mystery puncture had been repaired in the morning.
We clocked out mile after mile of fields, small inclines and big hills as we made our way down to the first stopping point just outside the rather beautiful Kimbolton School. After a quick pit-stop Barry and Paul’s day was about to get tricky as they missed the turning straight after the school for the A660 and ended up heading towards St Neots which was way off track! Jake and Naomi sprung to the rescue and put both Barry and Paul back on track and the spread-out peloton carried on down around the rough edges of Bedford, through the town centre and out towards Amthill and Flitwick. Just before Toddington, Magnus spied the Rugby Club – Dunstablians RFC – that his father had helped to set up some 60 years previously so a stop and a call to Papa was the order of the day. Once we were through Dunstable it was a straight run down the A5 to the town of Redbourn where we called it a day after another 80 miles.
We de-camped to The Bull Inn in Redbourn where the word quickly got around that there were three cyclists who had come down from St Andrews. Local fireman Mark, kindly donated £20 and we had our photo taken with the lads! It was a great end to an exhausting day but now the £26 miles to London seemed like a doddle – amazing how one’s perception of distance changes when you do serious miles!
Our final stop on the adventure was simply out of this world and we were royally spoiled by the Earl and Countess of Veralum who kindly offered sanctuary for the team at the utterly gob-smacking Gorhambury House. After baths and a freshen up, we were treated to a tour of the house followed by a delicious supper and a few cigars in the living room after dinner – very civilised! Going to bed that night there was certainly a feeling of excitement as the next day would see us arrive back in London after what felt like an enormous adventure. It was a restless night…