Sunday 7th October 2012 – Day 56
Brookland (on the A259) – Margate
2123 feet climbed
2398 calories burnt
Cumulative miles cycled round the coast = 3,394.17 miles
Please remember that Kirsty Medlock and her Dad, Stephen are cycling the 4,400 miles round the coast of Britain to raise £10,000 for Clifton’s Children Society (CCS) Adoption, the agency that facilitated an adoption for family friends. Please follow this link to donate as much as you can http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/cycling4adoption
Many, many thanks in advance!
Diary – Day 56
After sleeping in a proper bed for the first time in rather a while, it was incredibly difficult to get going this morning. Gavin and I were treated to a lovely cosy little BnB just over the road from where our parents were staying. The hosts were incredible and brought us our cooked breakfasts on trays to our room, we had the works, two of everything; sausages/bacon/tomato/hash browns/eggs/toast, the lot. When we were packed up, we joined the rest of the crew over the road at The Royal Oak, where they had stayed overnight. Whilst packing the car/Motorhome and getting the bikes ready, Chris, one of my mates arrived, he’d got the train over from London. After the usual photography session, we were ready to be on our way a bit later than usual at 11:00am. The weather was absolutely glorious, the sun was shining bright and the sky was clear for as far as the eye could see. Apart from a slight chill in the air, we were treated to amazing cycling conditions. The visitor’s got rather a skewed view as to what it’s like to be on the road for so long with such good weather!
The terrain over the morning’s cycle was as flat as a pancake, which meant we (I mean Chris) could set a relatively good pace. It was lovely having Gavin and Chris join us too, as it made the miles fly by even quicker. We had a couple of climbs into Folkestone and some around Dover, but other than that we were pushing through the miles in the morning.
On one of the first climbs, we bumped in to some local cyclists that were out on their weekly Sunday jaunt. They were giving us lots of advice on which roads to avoid and that when we were heading to the town of Deal, we were to take the back roads and avoid the A258 like the plague on a busy weekend. We did as we were told, in fact – for once I’d actually plotted to avoid the route they’d mentioned. Before we reached the lunch stop and joined back with Harry, Pat, Mum and Jasper, we finally took the fourth and final left turn of the trip – the rest of the journey is now pretty much heading North along the East coast!
Our lunch stop was in a lay-by on the busy A258 just past East Langdon. Again, all of the visitors were treated to a very unusual lunch stop as we could eat outside. We dined on chicken and salad baguettes, then some of Pat’s homemade lemon curd cake, it was delicious. As the weather was so lovely, we lounged around for quite a while and then after another photography session we set off on a small lane to get off the busy A258 and back to the coast.
We decided to follow a bit of NCN Route 15 in the afternoon, which mostly took us on a cycle lane down the side of the A258, however at points we were chucked back on the road to fend for ourselves. As the road was a flat, narrow and straight road, heavy with traffic, cars were making risky manoeuvres around us. This meant we decided to utilise the cycle path, as it also gave us a chance to talk side-by-side as opposed to being in a ‘peloton’ on the road.
When we were on a section of the road with no cycle path, Chris and Dad were ahead and Gav and I were pootling along behind trying to chat. I saw Chris bunny hop up a curb to join the cycle path and Dad turn left down a road to find the ramp up to reach it. As Gav and I turned the corner to do the same as Dad, the worst image thinkable laid out in front of us. An MPV skewed on the wrong side of the road with Dads bike just laid in front of the tires and him, no where to be seen. My heart sank and Gav and I rushed to the front of the car to see what had happened. Thankfully we saw my Dad standing up, brushing himself down and the woman driver out of the car, speaking with him.
We ushered the driver away, so we could assess what had happened to Dad. He had a nasty cut on the top of his thumb (we assume this is where his hand caught the window wiper, when he hit the bonnet), scrapes and bumps on his leg and some on his elbow, but all in all – for hitting the bonnet – he was in ok shape. We exchanged details with the driver, checked Dad’s bike over and then got going. There was a bit of a somber mood, but at least we could cycle on the relative safety of a cycle path pretty much all the way to Margate.
As we reached towards Ramsgate, there was a BHF cycling event going on, we got cheered to the ‘finish’ line – nice to see a local cycle event being so popular in the community. We kept tracing NCN Route 15 all the way to Margate, even though it did take us a rather long-winded way round. The afternoon was closing in, so we wanted to get there sharpish, so in the end just outside we decided just to follow my route as we knew it was relatively straight forward.
On reaching Margate, Chris bought his tickets back to London and went to get his train. Gavin, Dad and I were meant to continue a little while longer, but as we told the rest of the clan about Dad’s altercation with the car, he noticed a suspect lump at the top of his thigh. We decided to take him to A&E to get him fully checked over, as the lump was getting bigger and bigger. Gavin and I packed up the bikes, and took him in the car to QEQM A&E in Margate.
It was a long wait to be triaged, then after that, Dad had to wait another two hours before being seen by a doctor. Whilst we were waiting, Pam my aunty and Thomas my cousin who live in Ashford who were coming to see us anyway, decided to still come by and see us in the A&E waiting room! I was still in my cycling clothes so decided to go get a shower in the motorhome (see, it has its many advantages!) and Gavin and Pat had to drive back to London so they left around 8:00pm. After my shower, Harry heated up a wonderful ragu that Pat had cooked and the two of us ate, whilst waiting for Dad to be seen.
It ended up that Dad had a haematoma along with the scrapes and bruises and the consultant told him to rest up for 72 hours. After Harry had served them dinner we headed to Quex campsite in Birchington, that Gavin and I had driven to earlier in the evening to check out and we took a plot there. As no-one was in the reception area, we had to pull in un-announced and we would sort the details out in the morning. After a long day, and on the orders of the doctor there’s definitely a rest day on the cards tomorrow!