I woke this morning and checked if my legs were still attached to my body. I was worried I would be seriously aching after yesterday but obviously the river Dee water sorted them out.
Morning ritual continued and I had a slightly later start so threw some extra food in the body.
The club visit was right next to the hotel in sunny Wales at the Canolfan Ceiriog Community Centre.
Ellie explained to me how the centre was going to be shut down a few years ago but she managed to lobby and keep the centre open. She explained that for about 20 miles it’s the only one available to the kids. 20 miles in this rural area is just too far. The real challenge though is the lack of transport links to and from the club. The council clearly don’t understand and are not supporting the bus routes – they no longer exist. This I find just shameful. Incredible people, incredible club, incredible facilities, active kids, supportive environment, lack of local infrastructure……must be changed!!
The cycle then properly got underway and I felt great. I thought was superman at one point and wondered what Wales had in their water as I was flying out of Wales and into Shropshire. I then realised I was being blown along by a strong tailwind. Still felt great!
I made amazing time all the way into Telford. Quickest average speed of the week.
Arrived at the sailing club in Telford. PAUL! This was one of my favourite moments of the whole ride so far. Paul Paul Paul….! This man is special. Despite some challenges getting the club up and running Paul does everything from diaries, bookings, fundraising, teaching, mentoring, the list goes on. Paul took me out on his boat (it had a motor) as we were the rescue boat. There were about six sail boats on the lake, one volunteer and one disabled kid learning to sail. Paul taught the volunteers, the volunteers teach the kids and so on….Omar did the same. Great model and clearly it works.
The club had received a grant a while back and spent it on a new sail boat. Paul took me to one side and said he had been waiting for a special moment to do the naming of the boat and would I do it for him. What a lovely thing to be asked. Although I now instantly panicked and wondered if he meant me picking the name or the christening of the boat. Luckily for me he meant pouring some bubbly over it and revealing the new name. He attached the name to the back and called over some of his fellow volunteers. He asked me to reveal ‘BrianDi’. Named after two of the volunteers there. Brain and Diane (husband and wife). What a lovely memory for me.
Luckily for them I didn’t have to choose the name!
A great day cycling, two great club visits in two countries.
-Tail winds are welcome anytime
-Local councils must help. Not having travel is just a stupid reason for kids to not take part
-Paul (your wife and team) are special people.
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