Fat Lad And Kelly Did It!
On Sunday the 19th myself and Mandy went to Clive’s house to see him and Kelly head off for Paris to start their 6 day journey back to Palmers on Trent bridge. There are so many nuggets to pick up from them which will aid us on our ride in July.
Amongst his belongings he took 17 boxes of Jaffa Cakes and enough Haribos to keep the world’s population of kids on a high for a year, not asked them if they worked yet.
For the first two days in Paris we had no contact with them at all because for some reason in the 21st century mobile telecommunications companies still want to rip you off for calling abroad.. Apparently Paris is a complete nightmare to get out of and they got lost a number of times, including passing the Eiffel Tower 4 times.
Day two was no better with them telling me that there was a huge hill, not Clive’s word I must add, he explained it in a different way; a much different way, Kelly also told me that when they neared Dieppe (ferry port) there were lots more lorries around who did not give a damn about them on their bikes.
I called Clive on the Wednesday night around 9ish and I think I woke him up, he sounded the lowest I have heard him sound, if somebody had said to me he just had 15 pints I would have believed them, all he said to me was ‘Chet do me a favour and f*$k off, I will call you tomorrow.’ So that was that Clive was in a place he did not want to be, he had completely hit the wall, 3 days of what can only be described as Winter weather along with hellish roads.
Thursday Clive called me about 11am and with a chirpy voice Fat Lad is back, it seems that the rub down he got from Kelly and a good night’s sleep recharged is batteries, he said I needed to change the route for when we do our ride and that Kelly was planning the route and the end of each day. At this point I felt that I had let them down as it was I who planned the route last year, Thursday was the day they were cycling to Milton Keynes and where David Johnson was going to meet up with them to join them for their final two days.
I spoke to Clive at the Hotel on the Thursday night and he seemed a lot more upbeat, maybe it was having Johno there that did it but whatever it was I was glad of it, he still had two big days to get through. Myself and Sean Cochrane-Smith were set to meet them in Oadby on Saturday and wanted him to be in a good mood, I would have hated it if we got there and he had hated every minute of it, he would have been the first to let me know.
Friday I did not talk to them only text to make arrangements to meet on the A6/A46 junction to cycle the final part home with them, myself and Sean left Clifton at 6am and headed for Oadby hoping to catch them along the way, we made good time, in fact that good we ended up at their hotel in Oadby just as they were ready to leave.
Along the way back I had a chat about the route, both Kelly and Clive said I needed to revisit the route, I’m now either going to meet up with Kelly or look on her Strava site for the route they took UK side.
Our first break on the way back was at the A6/A46 junction where Kelly said we had 15 minutes because we had to be at our next destination Hoton (Pak Arms) to meet up with a few of Clive’s mates who were cycling back in with him too.
At this stage one thing I picked up is Clive has no ideas about traffic lights; Red Amber or Green all mean go in Clive’s eyes and he puts his hands up to stop the traffic, Kelly continued to scream “Clive you have to stop this”, she even tried in words that Clive knew all well and good but he chose to continue his own way.
We arrive at Pak Arms to find around 7 other riders who were riding back with us, they gave us all free coffee, at this time all the banter began, Johno telling us about how Clive approaches hills; by getting his head down and hurtling into them, once he did it only to find it was a bridge where he launched himself over it.
We headed off back to Palmers which was a steady 12 miles, a couple of good hills along the way but Clive could smell the end, there was no stopping him and he just wanted to get back. He did not stop at the Nottingham Knight Island and he certainly was not being held up for the lights at Wilford Lane. The vans stopped the traffic just after Willford Lane where Clive, Kelly and Johno tucked in between the support car and Van and the rest of us dropped behind the van, we stopped all traffic on London Road… sorry about the hold-up other road users.
As they rode around the corner to Plamers the van and car sounded the horns to the fantastic turn out for their return, Job Done
Well done Clive, Kelly and Johno
You can still donate to Clive’s charity Justgiving.com/clive-whiting