Saturday, 17 May 2008

CoastBusters! On the road report

Today was Day 1 of Euan Stronach's marathon Coastbusters charity ride around the UK, raising money for much-needed research in to Ovarian cancer.

Checking the weather forecast and - more worrying - the Highways Agency warnings on the BBC text news last night suggested that the South of England was to be obliterated by torrential rain today.

So it was with some relief (but not much) that I heard the dawn chorus this morning (including a local blackbird which cheeps a good rendition of 'Colonel Bogey' . . . odd . . . ). Luckily for me, I had the alarm set for 7:45, so could go back to sleep.

Bemused by the bright sky lack of rain when I got up, I switched on the computer and checked the Highways Agency 'Traffic England' web site to find that their weather sensors were reporting rain across Kent and as far West as Brighton . . . where Dave, Craig and me were due to meet Euan.

Euan, however, was on the road at 6:00 am.

Part of his Day 1 route included using the M25. Which was shut, so he had to make a 'back roads' detour to get back on route. Heading into Kent took him in to rain, and more rain.

[Background info: Euan, Dave, Craig, and me 'know' each other from the web forum 'The Rev Counter' - where we're known as 'Stronach', 'Byker28i', 'Sienna', and 'Horse'. Don't ask.]

Dave and I met for breakfast, and Happy Ate.

We headed off to our pre-arranged meeting point at a petrol station at hte A27/A23 junction, where we were due to meet Euan at mid-day. Arriving at 11:20 we found a soggy Euan just arrived, and topping up his bike with fuel and himself with a pasty.

Craig arrived a few minutes later, so we formed and headed West, with a nice police escort c/o the Sussex police dog unit who happened to travelling the same way.

I have to say that, for all the 'fears' of 'electronic policing' by camera, I haven't seen so many police on the roads for ages. We must have seen getting on for a dozen police vehicles during the day.

One 'highlight' was near Chichester, when a new BMW 'moto-x/motard' type bike (on a foreign plate) pulled up alongside us at some lights. We expected a stonking wheely from him when the lights turned green; he stalled. Oh well . . .

So A27 - M27, A31, coffee stop, then to Dorchester for photos. Graig accompanied Euan on to Honiton to meet his next accompanying rider, while Dave and I turned for home.

Pic shows Euan having a quick rest, reading the Ealing Gazette, just outside of Dorchester.

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