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DAY FOUR - Tuesday May 1st
Nottingham -> Ollerton -> Worksop -> Bluebell Wood (45 miles)
[17:00] Eddie: With the JustGiving ticker sitting at £2794, there is still room for some congratulations donations from Wednesday fans - let's try to get them to £3000 by the Wycombe match! Remember, they're doing for Bluebell Wood, a great charity that receives no funding - and provides the best possible care and assistance to the families of some of the most poorly children in South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Please dig deep and help us meet our target!
[16:21] Paul: THEY'VE MADE IT! Well done lads!
[16:00] Eddie: Two miles to go!
[15:30] Paul: On the home stretch! We should be at Bluebell Wood in about half an hour - so please come and see us if you're in the area!
[15:08] Rich: Batty has hit his second puncture of the ride...but like the pro he is, he's fixing it on the roadside using bark and dock leaves...
[14:50] Paul: 10 mile stretch from Edwinstowe completed with Hirsty out in front. Last stop before Bluebell Wood - it's a healthy one!
[14:20] Nigel: Just been pulled over by Wednesday fan on Ollerton Rd near Clumber Park to make a donation!!
[14:10] Rich: The riders are back on the road, now passing Sherwood Forest and the Major Oak:
[13:41] Paul: Lunch stop at the Dukeries in Edwinstowe - home leg next!
[13:00] Paul: First refreshment stop of the day - at the White Post pub in...erm, not sure actually - video here: http://yfrog.com/mqc8pxz
[11:27] Eddie: The lads HAVE set off, and are at the Traveller's Rest near Mapperley...which leaves them about 30 miles or so to go! COME ON BOYS!
[11:10] Paul: Here you go - Hirsty shows you how to donate - to get us to our target of £5000!
In fact, that one's a bit rubbish. Come on lads, get involved!
[11:08] Paul: The cyclists have stopped to mend a few punctures and make sure they're all rolling along for the final leg:
[10:45] Eddie: The team is on the road!
[10:30] Eddie: Some more lovely words of encouragement from the kind folks at Langsett Cycles (@LangsettCycles on Twitter): "@wednesdayite #b2bw Fantastic effort in poor conditions keep it going guys, please reward their efforts at justgiving.com/wednesdayite UTO"
I can only agree with the sentiment - the JustGiving counter is now up above £2600 - let's keep it ticking over and get it up above £3000 as soon as possible - that would mean nearly £3700 including cash donations!
[09:30] Eddie: The riders are aiming to set off at 10...it depends on how many trips to Halfords for new inner tubes are required this morning! Meanwhile, have some more encouragement in the form of the legendary Wednesdayite blogger and host of the new Wednesday Week podcast, Lord Hillsborough, who tweets "I do hope the chaps aren't saddle sore! I could have Jeeves pop over with some #SqueakyBumCream if you like!!!". Sounds very strange indeed...
[09:05] Paul: Breakfast for the riders ahead of the final assault:
[09:00] Eddie: Loads of best wishes tweets coming to @wednesdayite this morning, including this touching message from chairman Nigel's son Danny: "Good luck to my Dad and the other bike riders on their final day @wednesdayite GOOD LUCK"
[08:10] Paul: James is in shower, going for breakfast at 8:20 in pub next door, Hirsty wants 3 pints before setting off!!
[08:00] Eddie: Good morning everyboy! Overnight we've had our first useable video footage of the event, with Paul sending the following captivating video of the lads somewhere between Market Harborough and Melton Mowbray:
They were in good spirits at that point, before the road got too undulating to be enjoyable!
DAY THREE - Monday April 30th
Northampton -> Market Harborough -> Melton Mowbray -> Nottingham (65 miles)
[19:45] Eddie: With the lads finished for the day, I can stick a stake in the ground and take a total - JustGiving is showing us at £2497.44 - that's only THREE QUID SHORT of being half-way to our £5000 goal - can anyone tip us over the 50% mark overnight? In any case, with offline donations we are now at close to £3200, a fact that has the cyclists buzzing as they can see that their efforts are not going unappreciated. Thankyou to everyone who's donated, and enjoy the City-United match if you're watching - we all are!
[19:40] Rich: The leg from Market Harborough to Melton Mowbray really took its toll. Hirsty's bike broke in about six different ways, and Nigel really suffered - it made the final leg to Nottingham unbearable due to the constantly rolling hills. However, they're home and dry - and after a bath the call is "find a pub to watch the SECOND most important derby showdown this season"!!
[19:30] Eddie: I have tracked the lads down - they've this minute arrived at the Travelodge in Nottingham. As Paul says - first order of the day is bathtime for Hirsty. I don't know, he's like a small boy.
[19:00] Eddie: WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION - incredible thanks to Lee Keys, who couldn't make it to the SWFC Player Of The Season Dinner (due to it being sold out, due to someone not a million miles away from this blog not booking until this morning) - and so has donated the £150 it would have cost to the B2BW appeal. Lee, you are a wonderful man. Everyone - if you see this man on Saturday, give him a big kiss, with tongues:
[18:00] Eddie: I'm a little bit worried. This is the latest GPS result from Nigel's trace...
[17:35] Eddie: BRILLIANT everybody - three wonderful donations from the SWFC community have pushed B2BW over the £3000 barrier! Thankyou everybody - you're incredible and it really gives the lads a boost!
[17:15] Nigel: Hirsty calls for a taxi - "Melton Mowbray to Nottingham, please mate":
[16:50] Rich: Some of our riders are more tired than others...
[16:45] Eddie: Come on all - thanks to Owlstalk supremo Neil 'The Mister Big Of The Internet' Hargreaves, we're only TWENTY FIVE QUID away from £3000 raised...please dig deep and get the lads across the line!
[16:30] Rich: The intrepid bunch have arrived at Melton Mowbray - just in time for several jokes about pies, and it seems several isotonic sports beers!
[16:25] Nigel: James proves that we ARE at Melton Mowbray - no Photoshopping done here!
[15:52] Eddie: I should have also mentioned that the last ten minutes have seen this wonderful live blog tick over 1000 views - thank you everybody for your support and interest - keep on sharing the news and get people coming to wednesdayite.com/b2bwliveblog!
[15:50] Eddie: Just been checking the JustGiving counter, and we're up to £2272 online, which means overall we are at £2955 - only £45 from our next target of three grand! Come on folks, get hands in pockets and donate - that's only 9 of you donating a fiver! CLICK HERE TO DONATE AND REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF SERIOUSLY POORLY KIDS
[15:45] Eddie: It's gone worryingly quiet from out on the road, but thanks to my super StalkerVision powers, I have been safely tracking them. Things are looking fine - they're almost at Melton Mowbray, a mere 20 miles from goal!
[14:00] Eddie: I know a lot of you have been wondering about the support van and what it looks like. Well, wonder no longer - this, complete with our incredible graphics, is it:
Thanks again to Garry Scotting and the kind folks at Gilder's Volkswagen for letting us use it!
[13:55] Paul: The team remount and prepare to leave Market Harborough - next stop, Melton Mowbray. For God's sake, don't tell Hirsty that - he'll go pie-crazy!
[13:45] Eddie: Ozzie Owl (yes, the very same) on Twitter responds to Paul's "The bikes are parked" with "Gotta say, I was worried what that image might show then!" :D :D :D
[13:30] Paul: The bikes are safely stowed at all times while the lads refuel...
[12:50] Paul: Julian Batty, James Holmes and David Hirst - in that order - arrive in Market Harborough for lunch:
[12:20] Paul: You can tell it's a hot day - Matthew Senior's taken his trousers off, and is riding bareback!
[12:15] Rich: Spirits are soaring today with the better weather and the arrival of Hirsty. Just been passed by Richard and Nigel, who were singing "WE ARE GOING UP, SAY WE ARE GOING UP!" as they rode!
[12:00] Eddie: The lads are making great progress on this, the longest day of the journey. Please remember that they're doing it for Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, and raising the money so that this amazing charity can continue to give care and much-needed support to some of the poorliest children in our part of the world. Please do donate to help them continue the great work they do!
[11:50] Eddie: The team are all back together at their first stop, about half-way to Market Harborough. They look a hell of a lot happier than they did yesterday...
[11:30] Rich: Something terrible has happened. Hirsty stopped to adjust his shorts, and Little David popped out to greet the passing cars. We're uncertain if anyone is going to press charges...
[11:00] Rich: We're on the road, now north of Northampton, and Hirsty is leading the way, with Jonathan just behind!
[10:30] Eddie: While we wait for the first update from on the road, I'd like to share with you the data from Nigel's ride around Milton Keynes yesterday. No wonder he was flouncing:
Let's be honest - that didn't go well, did it? Better luck today, mate!
[10:00]Rich: Hirsty is a machine already, not only a rider but a mechanic too:
Nigel's not as ready to go as he might be...and also, get off my car, you lazy bugger!
[09:45]Rich: We're ready to go! Here is the supersub, the impact player, the man we're all looking to to keep us going for 60-plus miles today...the legend that is David Eric Hirst:
He's smiling now. He won't be soon...
[09:30]Eddie: Just spoken to Rich, who is being worked hard by Hirsty to set up his bike, rub his calves, feed him chips etc. They're going to set off in ten minutes or so!
For those of you not familiar with where the lads are right now, they're football fans after all - so it's no surprise to find that the Travelodge is just over the road from Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium:
Although I suspect at least some of the lads are more impressed with the availability of Frankie & Benny's, KFC and TGI's...
[09:20]Eddie: Weather for today looks a hell of a lot nicer than it did this time yesterday - the lads might even get a tan:
[09:15]Eddie: Donation update - overnight we've had another £70 of donations, to take the JustGiving total to £2087 - together with nearly £500 collected at the Brentford game and £250 from Blades fans at Bramall Lane to watch their team choke...that's pushing us very close to the magic £3000...I let the riders know whenever they hit a threshold and it really does spur them on, so keep on donating at JustGiving.com/Wednesdayite!
[09:10]Rich: Hirsty has been delivered safe and sound - he's raring to go, just catching up with a five minute power nap!
[08:20]Paul: We're up and raring to go...and it's a sunny day! First job is to fuel up - this looks like the breakfast of champions to me:
[06:55]Rich: First job of the morning falls to me - picking up an extremely valuable (in fact, once valued at £5 million!) package:
We'll be in Northampton for 9am ready to start the journey!
DAY TWO - Sunday April 29th
Borehamwood -> St Albans -> Dunstable -> Stadium:MK -> Northampton (55 miles)
[23:45]Nigel: Just got back to the room after a hell of a tough day in the saddle, followed by a hot bath and TGI Fridays in Northampton.
To say I'm tired is the biggest understatement in the world ever. Im Mr Knackered, the most Knackered man in Knackeredville.
However - Im over the moon about our current total - you are all incredibly generous and the riders and myself have been really motivated at each of our stops with the updates on how the Justgiving total is going - infact its the first thing I'm getting asked now.
On top of our total so far we have nearly £500 raised from our half time collection at Brentford, and another £250 raised by Sheff Utd fans in the pubs around Bramall Lane pre-match on Sat. Apparently the buckets got most of the cash when Brentford equalised - thankfully they didnt take it back out when we scored the winner!
So - we are up to £2k. Would it be asking huge amounts to get it to £3k by tomorrow night?? We shall see.
Tomorrow is our longest leg of the journey - and we are all hoping to get to Nottingham in plenty of time to watch the Mancs fight it out in their somewhat lower key game than our forthcoming match on Saturday...
(Ive suggested we watch it in Hooters... watch this space lol)
Thanks again to all of you
[22:15]Paul: We're clean, warm and dry again...and we've earned the TGI Fridays we're about to eat:
I think you'll all agree that we look like we've suffered today! Still, it's all in a good cause - and we get the boost of having Hirsty join us for the start of tomorrow!
[20:40]Eddie: Thanks to everyone who has followed us and donated today - we've passed on every message and let the lads know as the donations have come in - the last two from Jim Bainbridge and Nigel Punton @ Sharrow Vale Hardware have spurred the team on to home as they busted through the £2000 barrier! The boys have earned a good night's sleep (and I notice that there's a TGI Friday opposite their hotel, so probably some Jack Daniels Shrimp as well). Join me in the morning for the next leg on this epic journey!
[20:30]Nigel: We have arrived! I've never been so happy to see a Travelodge in my entire life! A MASSIVE thankyou to everybody who's donated - thanks to your generosity (or perhaps sympathy at my massive MK flounce!), we've now topped £2000 on the JustGiving donations page, which means we're over £2500 overall! We are absolutely shattered, the light is fading, our arses are aching (so to speak), but we're now convinced that we have it in us to make it! Goodnight and see you all in the morning!
[19:30]Eddie: The flounce that Nigel had an hour or so age has spurred the lads on - they're within touching distance of their goal!
[18:30]Eddie: I fear for the sanity of our riders...Nigel has just sent the following message: "Just had a massive flounce at Milton Keynes traffic system. And learnt just how far i can throw my bike!"
[17:40]Nigel: Guys we are all freezing our proverbials off here. Wet too. Donations today stand at £1817... We're just about to set off on the last leg - would be a huge boost to all of us if we were at £2k by tonight.... PLEASE
Eddie: Nigel doesn't know about the bucket collection total yet (we treat 'em mean to keep 'em keen)...but if we had £2000 in donations on our Justgiving page, we'd be at £2500 - so please dig deep and help!
[16:30]Nigel: Keeping up with your donations and best wishes!
[16:10]Paul: We've made it to within six miles of MK, with Jonathan leading the way:
Chairman Nigel is a few minutes behind, but still riding strong, as seen by our first video from the trip - check it out here!
[15:45]Nigel: Torrential rain (and I mean proper TRENSHALL) is really testing everyones enthusiasm. Riding through roads that should be reclassified as rivers, into strong headwinds isnt the worst though. The worst is the drivers who think 6 inches is reasonable clearance at 70mph, or that its incredibly hilarious to swerve into puddles to send a wall of water over you. Quick lunch - then off we go again...
[15:30]Eddie: Incredible scenes here at B2BW HQ as we've just seen a donation of £100 go into the appeal from Peter Cawley, who is not only a lovely, lovely man, but also irresistable to women and the best footballer we've ever seen. Thanks a million Peter - you're making a real difference!
[15:00]Paul: Tired, wet and hungry, we've nevertheless made it to Dunstable for a quick warm-up and dry-out before heading for our next waypoint, which is Bletchley, just outside Milton Keynes. Next stop, Stadium:MK!
[14:30] TWITTER HIGHLIGHT: @deejayone says "I *have* to say I'm HUGELY envious of the @wednesdayite Brentford to Bluebell Wood cycle riders. I know I couldn't do it." - I don't know whether envious is the word, but you and I would need to put in some serious training to even attempt this odessey mate! ;)
[13:50]Eddie: Just a quick note to let everybody know that we've now passed the £2000 mark in donations - a MASSIVE thankyou to everybody who has donated - you're making a real difference to the lives of local families!
[13:40]Eddie: Credit to the cyclists, even in this weather they're making great progress! Current location is about 2/3 of the way to Dunstable from the last break at St Albans. When they get there it's only 40 miles to go to Northampton...
ROMAN HISTORY FANS: The route the lads are taking right now is of course the legendary Watling Street, which was the main route from London up into the West Midlands and Welsh Valleys during the Roman rule over Britain. Now it's more well-known as the A5, which is a much more sensible name. What is Watling, anyway?
[13:15] Paul: My son James (who's only fourteen and on his first bike ride!) is only a few minutes behind, led by absolute sadist Julian, who thinks this sort of thing is how we should all spend every weekend...nevertheless, have you seen how wrapped up Batty is? NESH SON, NESH.
[13:10] Paul: Peter Shaw heroically passes the Bedfordshire County Showground in atrocious conditions - the roads are actually like rivers out here! We're cracking on but trying to stay safe at the same time!
Remember, they're not doing this for the fun of it - every mile is to raise money for the incredible Bluebell Wood Childrens Hospice - who receive no funding and provide care for dying children and their families. Please donate if you can - here!
[12:15] Eddie: First waypoint for the team today - St Albans is totally historic...I don't know what this is, but it's incredible:
Paul Holmes reports that "the slow start due to mechanical issues" means that the team "have to push on". Just imagine that you're chasing down a five point gap with ten games to go, lads!
[11:30] Eddie: The boys have reached the outskirts of St Albans! This is the first waypoint today, and a very lovely one it is too.
I should point out that when I made my allusion to Scott of the Antarctic, I wasn't suggesting that all our B2BW riders would end up dying of hypothermia. KEEP IT UP LADS.
[10:25] Eddie: Through the magic of technology, I can tell you that the boys are on the road! Chairman Nigel has a wonderful piece of GPS kit on his phone which sends me a super-duper view of their progress on a Google Map. They wouldn't have been able to do that when Scott was on his way to the Antarctic!
[09:25] Nigel: A short delay setting off, as the first test of our team's on-the-road smarts seems to baffle them! A puncture - which most schoolboys could tell you should take only five minutes to fix - has flummoxed our team. In their defence, it's a bloody monsoon out there!
[08:20] Nigel: Really looking forward to todays bike ride in torrential rain and high winds from Borehamwood, thru St Albans, Dunstable, Milton Keynes and Northampton...
[08:00] Eddie: Hope the boys had a great night's sleep - I don't envy them today - here's the weather forecast:
But better news is that the bucket collection yesterday (the lads and their bikes went around the pitch at Brentford at half-time, and then me, my wife and four-year-old son Tommy collected with buckets outside the away end after the match) raised a magnificent £466.33 to go into the pot - well done and many thanks to all you generous football fans!
[07:00] Eddie: Morning everybody! I'm up early, still buzzing about yesterday's results - and itching to hear from the B2BW team as they get up this morning with 60 miles of hard slog in prospect. Please keep tweeting @wednesdayite, posting to our Facebook site and using the hashtag #B2BW to send your best wishes to the lads on the road!
DAY ONE - Saturday April 28th
Griffin Park, Brentford -> Borehamwood (15 miles)
[21:25] Nigel: Sat in a hot bath in Borehamwood Travelodge. Still shivering from the coldest, wettest and busiest bike ride ever. And yet I really couldn't be happier. They did it. What I've been predicting for weeks now. They gave themselves every chance now and it's back in our hands. I love you Wednesday and if it's quite alright I love you cos I'm a Wednesdayite!! Now don't f*** it up :-)
[20:35] Peter: We've arrived safe and (relatively) sound at the luxurious Borehamwood Travelodge. If this is a taste of things to come, the leg to Northampton tomorrow is going to be tough indeed! Night all!
[19:10] Paul: This weather really is shocking - you don't want to be us right now!
[19:10] Nigel: Through wind and rain (and London traffic), we've made it to Wembley...if things go to plan, this will be the only time we'll be here this season!
[18:05] Paul: We're on our way! Come on Stevenage! Come on legs!
[18:00] Eddie: Just waving the lads off from Brentford as the Blades look to be throwing it away at Bramall Lane. Even though the weather is terrible - I mean REALLY shocking - the lads are in incredible spirits, bolstered by meeting none other than Big Ron, who was at the match! We thanked him for his support and for that glorious day 21 years ago - he wished us all the best for the ride.
[15:45] Nigel: The kind folks at Brentford FC have allowed us to collect some more donations and raise awareness for our ride by parading round the pitch at half time! The Owls fans in the away end were of course the most generous:
[09:00] Nigel: Its 9am, and I've just boarded the Wednesdayite coach at M1 Junction 31 - Aston for the journey down to Brentford.
The coach is buzzing with talk of automatic promotion, the play-offs, todays game and the possible outcomes and obviously, what will United do against Stevenage later on. - READ MORE
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