Friday, 30 July 2010

CoBi at the Castle

We headed to Edinburgh in the early morn and found it incredibly difficult to park, so we had to venture into the valley ( not really thinking about how we would get the bike up to the castle).

Ed, Ian, Miss CoBi and I had a practice run ( you would have thought we might have tried the bike before setting off for a month long endurance ride) and then turned onto our first hill up to Princess Street (just the three of us!). We appealed to random passers by for pedal power, and some lovely old guy named Ronnie/Ernie(we’re not sure) hopped on and stayed with us for 3 hours. I needed a pee, and so ran into the Co-op, in which time a sweet old lady had donated £5 to our cause (spend a penny make a few pounds, that’s my motto, do you think it will catch on?).

I have never steered a vehicle on public roads, and I have no knowledge of the Highway Code, so what better time to start than on the main road through Edinburgh? I only cut-up one or two buses before Ed took over and crashed into a bollard (OK it might have been me who crashed into a pollard).

The good people at Beefeater offered us free lamb, chicken and steak, which was really nice (NO, NOT AS GOOD AS PIPER’S FARM, ED) and then we climbed up the the Royal Mile. The cobbles played havoc with our cobblers, and I decided this probably wasn’t the best day to wear jeans.

The castle was beautiful and we took some beautiful shots – everyone was so interested and supportive and suddenly the pounds started rolling in which was a nice surprise (drinks on me – JOKE).

The lovely Lewis, the self-proclaimed king of Scotland helped pedal for a while, singing his song, kilt a-flapping (we didn’t look); some lovely American girls came along for a bit and then invited us out clubbing in town – tree, barking, wrong, up? We were given $3 by a minted Indonesian business man, who treated us as his personal tour guides for half an hour. Ed tried his Thai out on an unsuspecting Thai family, and we learnt Ian is a really good cyclist (knowledge I am sure he wished we did not possess).

The Critical Mass group saw us, hunted us down, and insisted they escort us through the streets back to our van, sticking two fingers up to all motorsied vehicles – 2 wheel good, four wheels bad (unless you are a CoBi bike).

It was brilliant to be in Edinburgh; we were photographed more than Lady Gaga, generated more interest than RBS, and finally realised we might actually be able to do this (although everyone keeps warning us, the climbs will be longer, steeper and much harder).

After a great day, we drove to Dundee to stay with The Baldwins, where I met a gorgeous maincoon cat named Rocky (that is the most interesting bit so far, yes?). After supper Ed delivered the most profound statement, ‘we can flatten the hills with our minds’ …. The room went silent, then everyone laughed.

We still need volunteers for the Scottish legs, please email if you can help. We are fully prepared for wild camping but if you can offer us food or shelter please phone our project manager Sophie on 07958527107.

Please check back soon for more travel reports and updates.

Jack, Ed, Ian and Miss CoBi

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Driving Miss Cobi

UK WIDE TRAVEL ALERT – Long delays expected everywhere due to purple 7 seater circular bike travelling south from John O’Groats to Land’s End for Cancer Research UK – Tune into for regular updates.

That’s right; the tour de Britain is only 2 days away. We left Brixton to the sound of the steel band and arrived at our nightly stopover in the Yorkshire dales to a rousing chorus of ……. silence .

Our minibus, which I have nicknamed ‘Peter the Great’(after Ed’s dad who drove it up from Devon) has been kindly donated by Exeter Cathedral School, and it has served us really well.

We stopped by the mythical town of Hemel Hempstead to collect vital supplies from Complete Outdoors, namely gas for the camping stoves and a couple of pints of pure faith diet (we are watching our weight).

The M1 was a real highlight, Ed driving and me taking urgent press calls from Scotland and my mum. Sadly the lady being channelled through the GPS had a breakdown and took us to an abandoned abattoir instead of the HQ of Get Cycling where we were picking up the CoBi. With a few gentle taps she apologised and took us to our destination, where we found the lovely, Ian, our support driver (think Driving Miss Daisy, relocate it to Rochdale and take away Miss Daisy).

Next to Ian stood the CoBi bike, what a woman – a deep purple shell, 7 legs and a spare tyre for good measure. I looked at Ed, Ed looked at Ian, Ian looked at me, I looked at Ed, Ed looked at Ian ….. OK you get the idea …. We didn’t say it but we all thought maybe this was all a bridge to far, perhaps even a Humber bridge too far.

We hooked Miss CoBi up to the bus and then loaded about ½ ton of juice, kindly donated by our official sponsor Juice Doctor, onboard.

So our strange convoy entered the Yorkshire Dales, with shocked looks on the faces of it’s residents (mainly sheep, otters and sparrow hawks). At every hill and dip we pondered if the bike would manage the climb, most ponderings were met with the same answer – head held in hands.

Someone how Ed negotiated the twists and turns and took us to his uncle's house, literally nestled at the foot of a mountain. He greeted us with food, water and an invitation to play croquet by moonlight (an invitation we declined). After helping to feed the lambs we went to bed.

Jack, Ed, Ian, Miss Cobi.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

168 hours and counting ...............

With only 168 hours left until we begin the world's most extraordinary bike ride for Cancer Research UK, the pace is well and truly hotting up.

This week we put the finishing touches to our rider's info pack, which you can see here

We have been really inspired by the story of James Golding and Sean Newman which you can read about here James was diagnosed with a very agressive tumour 2 years ago and had only a 5% chance of survival. James not only survived but has gone on to do some incredible things for Macmillan, culminating in the Cycle Across America 2010. During this endeavour James and his co-rider Sean Newman were hit by a truck, and are now both recovering in hospital. Our thoughts go out to James and Sean, and their families.

Jack and Ed

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Sir Steve Redgrave carries us foreword

In less than 2 weeks we will begin The World's Greatest Bike Ride (probably) Ever (Maybe).

Many people have offered to lend a hand, or at least a spanner, in support of our fight against cancer.

This August CoBiUk we will form a chain across the UK, a chain that is linked by the very best of the human spirit. There will be challenges, but this was never meant to be easy and however hard the days are, and however much our legs ache we know we will be raising much needed money and awareness for Cancer Research UK.

With this in mind, I am really excited to let you know that Sir Steve Redgrave has written the foreword (see now the title all makes sense) to our Rider's Information Pack which we will be sending out to all our volunteer riders in due course (this does not mean we have all the volunteers we need, or indeed want, if the whole of the UK offered to ride we would accommodate it, so please look at the day-by-day route planner to see where you can join us, it will be the experience of a life time, I promise).

“I’m delighted to lend my support to this great fund-raising event. Only we Brits would be mad enough to take a Seven Seater bike from one end of the country to another to raise important funds for Cancer Research UK, and I have no doubt that the team will be given the public’s support for each and every mile of the trip. Having just cycled across the USA with Race Across America (RAAM) I know just what preparation and determination goes into such a ride, so I extend my best wishes to each and every person who gets in the saddle to support the CoBi UK crew.”

Sir Steve Redgrave, CBE
Five-Time Olympic Gold Medallist
And Co-Founder of Juice Doctor, official sponsor for CoBiUK

We are so grateful for Steve's support, and we really hope he will be able to join us for part of the ride.

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, if you see a Conference Bike, don't forget to............. Volunteer to ride it/offer accommodation, food, shelter, a rub-down to the riders/ DONATE TO CANCER RESEARCH UK

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Keith Chegwin is on board! (sort of.....)

Hello pedal pushers!

That's right, Cheggers himself 'followed' us today ... "What, like down the street?" I hear you cry. No my little bicycle bells, on Twitter. Well we thought it was exciting ....... and if you visit his Twitter feed you will get little nuggets like this,

The mother-in-Law just swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills. I've told her to have a few drinks & get some rest

We hope to have his mother-in-law on the bike actually, but Keith said he would prefer her under it (boom boom).

With only a matter of weeks to go and as the excitement builds, I'm sure most of you are are throwing your football boots into the bin and rummaging through the cupboards looking for those useless Cycling shoes you brought on a whim from e bay, because they were only £28 + £16p+p. Well my eager saddle greasers, little did you know that one day when some crazy fools decided to ride from John O'Groats to Land's End on a 7 seater bike for Cancer Research, they would come very much in useful.

Our schedule is filling up with a really wonderful Pick & Mix of people, and the idea that we will link together as a chain across the UK to beat Cancer is truly inspiring. If you haven't already please do think about whether you would like to get involved, the more the merrier, and we mean that!

Our press release is finally out, so get ready to see us splashed over local rags, and breakfast T.V across the land ..... this is going to be big!

Ding Ding, get out of the way, the CoBi Uk 2010 is revving up the engine (and that engine is you!)