After the GNBR

I am so so tired that I can barely figure out what I want to write. How about I start from the beginning?

Yesterday was the Great North Bike Ride ( that’s hard work to type, GNBR it is from now on ok?) Kick off was at nineish from Seahouses. My house is about 40 miles from there and pretty much on the route so originally the plan had been to ride to the start with Champion Dan and co. Obviously the Unknown Cyclist put paid to that idea (I’m not suicidal you know, honest) and I got a lift up with And. I’m kind of glad we did, we passed the Vags gang at Alnwick valiantly battling into an horrific headwind in the pouring rain.

We saw them riding into Seahouses as we were riding out. I have to tell you, the ride from Seahouses all the way to Tynemouth was a cracking one, mostly flat except for the occasional long climb. The ride up to Warkworth castle was the best UP I’ve ever experienced, the fantastic tailwind that was my friend almost the whole way took a gust and blew us up that hill. The were a few shouts of “Wheee” along that route. I have to admit I rode a bit harder than I probably should have. It’s hard to reign it in when you are used to pushing yourself just that little bit over the line. but hey, it was worth it.

From what I saw the ride was well planned. Signs were abundent at all but a few turns (and those turns were ones that really didn’t matter, whichever way you went you ended up at the same place) There were marshalls all over the place. Come Widdrington ( on my home ground now) there was a feed stop, well stocked with water, bananananas (never know where to stop with that word) and free electrolyte tablets. You know, I was a sofa dweller when I had the Junior Cyclist so all this is new to me. I had the dilemma of figuring out if I should, could use them things. I went with yes, no caffeine anyway. Coming through Blyth the marshalls were even standing by the side of the road handing up water to riders, how’s that for service?

We carried on through Blyth and along the seafront, here the road was smoother than the path so we hopped that way, that’s why they’re called road bikes. Andy got the itch to take some heads so I sent him on his way, I planned to bimble my way to the finish which was only a few miles now. I should know better. Experience has taught me that it is impossible when riding alone to ride anything but suicidally. Scalp time…. whooo hooo. Oh look, the finish, oh hey, And! πŸ™‚ 59.36 miles in 4hours56seconds! Big queue for some freebies; medal, T-shirt, comemmerative pen, electrolyte tablets (which were pretty tasty as electrolyte tablets go, I’ll be buying some of those Zero tablets). We went up to a cafe to meet a few fellow Vags and maybe cram a scone into my gob. (You know, I still didn’t see any of Dannys gang come past, which was a little sad 😦 )Β Still, even with the fantastic tailwind I’m proud of that ride, pregnant, without sleep after a brutal 50 miles the day before I was feeling all elated and stuff.

Just had to get home now, And had planned to escort me part way home (could you ask for a better friend?) so by wearing our t-shirts over our jerseys, cramming freebies in pockets and wearing our rain jackets over everything we managed to get everything somewhere. That lovely tailwind was not so good. I felt myself being blown backwards with a scary force, then turning left the wind caught me sideways, the bike at a 45 degree angle I stopped. Uh Uh, we’re not doing this. I got off to push the bike and even walking into the wind was almost impossible. We decided to turn round and head for Andys along the river which is always a pretty ride. Mind I was feeling the strain now and the ride back was slow, it took 2 hours to ride the 15 miles to Andys arriving at Andys I was starving, shaking from lack of food. A bag of dried fruit and nuts, couple of cereal bars, half a banana, cheese scone these things will only see you so far. Tired and insensible Andy very nicely fed (oatcakes!! mmmmmm) and watered me (coffee!! :D) put my bike in his car and delivered me home where I became the dead thing on the sofa. Happy but shattered. 75.11 miles of doing what I love, I swear this kids going to come out pedalling.

You know, 3000 entrants, say 2000 men and 1000 women. I cannot have been the only pregnant cyclist yesterday can I?Β  I used to consider 70 mile rides to be well, a Saturday. But I know that really that’s quite an epic distance and for people to come out and do these long rides on mountain bikes, in jeans, with no training is astonishing. To do this to raise money for a cause that touches your heart is a great thing. I’m grateful to those who’ve donated (Β£57 all told), you’re amazing too and for those who haven’t gotten round to it here’s my justgiving page http://www.justgiving.com/Carrie-Foster. If you’d rather pledge your Β£2 in cash just drop me an email, there’s a contact button at the top of the page there.

I’m off to lounge around now. If anyone feels like bringing in me some fatty food that’d be great.

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16 Comments on “After the GNBR”


  1. I sent you some toast. Lots of butter. Brilliant riding Carrie πŸ™‚

  2. Craig Douglas Says:

    Hi,
    Yep, I was there too…! The wind was fantastic at times, generally when it was behind. We travelled accross from Jedburgh to take part and I have to say, I had a really great day despite suffering from a cold most of the week. I have to say, a big well done to you as the pregnant cyclist. The marshalls were fantastic yesterday and great service all round from a very well organsied event. I have only ever been to Tynemouth twice in my 40 year lifetime, Sunday being one and the other being in June, when we completed route 72 from Bowness, Cumbria to Tynemouth. We did that in a day 102 miles 9.31hrs biking time. I have to say, I got a little emotional yesterday when cycling down the hill to the finish, this was out last hill climb to complete the route 72 and all I could think of was, Ahhhhhh I’m going to have to cycle back up! lol
    Anyway, well done to everyone that took part, here’s to next year!

    Craig

    • Wowy Says:

      Well done to you. You forget just how far that is to most people don’t you? My husband and I cycled from Silloth to Tynemouth for our wedding anniversary In Apri, in fact that was why I started cycling around this time last year so that hill does that to me too. Thank you for the comment, it’s appreciated.

  3. LTMWB Says:

    Well done Carrie, great amount of miles in two days don’t know how you two πŸ™‚ do it, my legs are still aching 😦 from only doing a tad under 30 miles yesterday.

    Great post, NOW GET SOME REST πŸ™‚ matey

  4. Lost Says:

    That’s amazing mileage for a bubba-carrier πŸ˜‰

    The wind got rather fierce here in Manchester too. Thankfully my miles were indoors at the velodrome. They were racing miles tho, so no going easy for me either πŸ˜‰

    Huzzah for us girlies!

    • Wowy Says:

      I’d love to visit the velodrome, our club has a yearly trip, last year I was too poor this year I’ll be too pregnant. 😦

      • Lost Says:

        Bummer 😦

        I’m lucky that I live 3 miles away from the velo so can ride as and when I like (funds being the decisive factor really). Middleton CC hire the velo 3 times a year for our championships. I get real gutted when I can’t ride, so I can imagine its worse when your body is against you riding 😦

        Hopefully next year you can ride – just cease having relations with the hubby and live in a bubble and you’ll be ok πŸ˜‰

  5. TMWB Says:

    Love the new Banner Carrie πŸ™‚

  6. Danny Winthorpe Says:

    HI Carrie,
    I saw you hanging out of the Audi as we were getting soaked to the skin,
    Im sure you were laughing
    Sorry we didnt get the chance to have a cuppa,as we were a bit late getting there,
    Well done mate ,no mean feat freewheeling behind Andy downwind.
    Maybe next year you can ride up with us πŸ™‚


  7. hi wats your myspace page


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