Farewell to a friend with a charity event!
It was 7.15am on a dreary Saturday morning in September when we arrived at Southport for our epic two day journey , undeterred we set up our bikes and double checked that we had everything for the Journey. Our spirits were high as we had photos taken at the Trans Pennine sign with our Help for Heroes banner and our Union Jack flag.
We smiled and waved goodbye to Sue our support driver who kindly got up at 4am to take us to Southport. We were now on our way,and looking forward to what laid ahead, unfortunately after only about 5 miles we missed a turning and ended up going on a 6 mile round trip to get back on the trans pennine trail .We then pushed on towards Aintree but then what we got was rain and not just any rain, it was torrential and coming sideways at us, but there was no place to shelter so we just put our heads down and kept going .We made it to Aintree wet through but with spirits still high and after negotiating a few main roads near the race course we got back on to the trail and pushed on towards Liverpool airport. The weather then decided to give us a break and the sun came out so we decide to have a well earned rest in a lovely village called Hale , we sat on a bench outside the church and had a well deserved drink and something to eat while we watched the planes come in to the airport.
After a well deserved rest we pushed on towards Manchester , and did not stop until we got towards Sale when the heavens opened again and we had to take refuge underneath a motorway bridge, luckily this only lasted for about 10 minutes and we were on our way again , we were all aware that we had to push on towards Stockport and then get to the Woodhead Pass. We pushed and pushed but the trail was very muddy in places and slow going so we then made the decision that the light was failing so we did not want to risk the Woodhead trail in the dark so we decided to take the road. We went through the village of Tintwistle at 8pm and by the time we reached the Woodhead pass it was completely dark.
We now had a Seven mile climb across the Woodhead pass in the complete dark (not adviseable) .We set off in convoy with our lights on and fully aware that we had to keep our wits about us as there were no causeways and no street lighting . After a very long slog we finally made it to the top where we stopped for another well deserved drink. Then set off back to Barnsley where we finished for the night very very tired and very very saddle sore.
Sunday morning 7am the sun was shining and we were up and preparing our kit for the last part of our journey. We set off on our journey towards Doncaster and straight away it became apparent that this part of the journey was a lot more pleasant, it was a lot flatter and the scenery was a lot more pleasant . We made good time to and beyond Doncaster and it was a pleasure to ride on the trail as we passed many friendly people on barges and also in the many beautiful villages we passed through. Unfortunately we hit a head wind and it started to take a strain on us and Selby could not come quick enough. We stopped at Selby for our lunch and a chance for a rest. We were all tired and saddle sore by this point and knew that yesterdays huge effort was quickly catching up with us. We knew we were on the home straight so our spirits lifted and we battled on , we went through numerous picturesque villages until 15 miles from the end Mark had a puncture, we quickly changed it was on our way again. After a few more miles we could see the Humber bridge and after speaking with our families at the finish point we knew the end was imminent but again we missed a sign and ended up on the walking part of the trail which took us on the banks of the river Humber , so we trudged through the mud and silt with our bikes for more than 100yards before finally getting back onto the path and the last mile or so to our final destination. We arrived at the pub under the Humber bridge where we were greeted with cheers and applause and more importantly an ice cold Pint for our well deserved efforts.
We were all tired and very saddle sore but on reflection we did this for a fabulous charity Help for Heroes.
The riders James Herbert, Mark Pickering ,Robert Thornton ,Kevin Ware ,Martin Herbert ,Simon Herbert
Well Done Lads!
Pat and Bryan’s story has helped our Partners right across the Trans Pennine Trail network to see how changes can make the route more accessible. Take a look at what they've helped to accomplish.