422 miles down / 535 to go
23,096 ft of climbs (79% of Mt Everest at 29,096 ft)
We headed off around 10am and rolled gently along some country miles. I was really struggling (again) but this time it was my achillies which shrieked with searing pain in every downstroke. I gritted my teeth, hoping it would ease. My muscles were so stiff and it took a while to get comfortable revolving the legs, to start with I had to stand and cycle, I was so tight and uncomfortable I could not sit down for the first few miles! Thankfully the stiffness eased after a while which just left the pain.
We soon passed through Shrewsbury (home of the mighty Shrews apparently) and we then reached Whitchurch at about mile 25 and I had to stop. Perhaps if I adjust the cleats on my cycling shoes to put my foot further forward on the pedal it would ease the pain? A desperate hope maybe, but something I needed to try.
Brendon and I were both tired, really tired. This wasn't just a test of endurance, it was a test of everything and it's easy to forget that in the romance of planning the event. After 4 days of cycling 10-13 hours a day and the pressure of completing the rides it's difficult not to get ratty with each other and on occasion we both did. Thankfully we can have a laugh and a joke to break things up, but there is no doubt we need a rest day!
Dipstick of the day went to a HGV driver who passed far too close, I'm sure DHL have deadlines to meet with their parcels, but frankly there's no need to risk it!
Mile 40 is slightly off the beaten track (see picture) which meant we had to walk our bikes for a few miles until we rejoin the road. Ordinarily we may complain at this, but the relief for our backsides is fantastic, the stroll is just what they (our backsides) needed!
We pushed on the Delamare Station and our first feed stop. We were both suffering from aches and pains, people looked on in amusement as we both used the picnic benches to stretch.
The stop was just what we needed though, we blasted through the next 30 miles at a good pace and made up for some of the slow time earlier in the day. We passed through Warrington before the delights of Burtonwood (even the church and church hall was surrounded by razor wire). Brendon greeted a guy sat by the side of the road drinking Special Brew, I opted for the make no eye contact option and am glad we passed through at pace, any slower and our wheels could get pinched!
We soon arrived in Billinge for our final stop, some drinks and recounting the tales of the day to the support crew and then we were back on the road for the final 20 miles. We blasted our way to Preston at a good speed before Katie picked us up for the drive back to Knutsford. After 10.5 hours it was fantastic to finish and have a day off waiting for us.
Hero of the day has to go to Katie, she was a real star rushing around after us and organising the feed stops. An amazing g job and no wonder she is as tired as us!
The legs have now stiffened up, my eyes are struggling to stay open, so with that, I think it's off to bed and a beautiful rest day ahead!
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