Two Notts County fans took part in the London To Amsterdam Cycle Challenge for Prostate Cancer UK… Here is Keith Stewart’s diary…
Day Two (Evening) & Day Three – Dam Square, Amsterdam To Nottingham
Keith, Ian (Team NCFC) and the rest of the riders head into Amsterdam to celebrate their fund-raising efforts and completing the ride.
After we all had a shower and changed into our decent gear, we all headed to the function room for a celebratory meal and a congratulations from and for the team, Prostate Cancer UK and Classic Tours.
Shortly after the celebratory meal we ordered a taxi to Dam Square, Amsterdam to find somewhere to watch the England match. We found a pub called ‘Players’ with football-related pictures on the front and decided to try there first -it ended up with this being the only bar we visited as the football was on!
On the Sunday morning we had breakfast in the function room of the hotel before having a mooch around looking for things to buy our children as souvenirs. But, as it was Sunday all we could find open was a mini supermarket and so we ended up buying them some Dutch chocolates.
The coaches came at 11.45am to take us to Amsterdam train station where we had an hour or so to spare. We sat outside a corner pub with some Stevenage fans, had a couple of pints and a laugh.
The train came on time and we disembarked toward Brussels where we would transfer to the Eurostar to head home to Kings Cross. The train was on time until we got to Antwerp where the train which was supposed to be an hour in front of us was still in the station. We heard rumours there was an obstruction on the track and clearing it could take 2-24 hours…
So, we had a decision to make – stay on the train and catch the next Eurostar after we arrived in Brussels, or to risk taking a taxi to get there in time to get the Eurostar originally booked on. We decided to pay the 25 Euros and risk the taxi – in which we made it by just a few minutes before the check in desk closed!
From there it was a pleasant journey all the way back to Stratford to pick our bikes up from the car park next to the hotel we stayed at two days previous. There was even a joke made that we were going to fight once back on English turf (being rivals and all) but this obviously didn’t happen!
Conclusion… Well, all I can say is – YES! DO IT! What a brilliant experience it has been.
I have met and had a laugh with lots of men and women I would never of seen otherwise, from all different parts of the country, and supporting different football league teams, and a few ex players – some of which I now have contact with via mobile or social media.
And don’t forget all the money we have all raised for such an amazing cause! Lets hope for even more participants next year.
Myself and Richard (the Nottingham Forest fan) were talking all the way back on the train and have both decided to do this again next year but with extra incentive to raise more money! It is not 100 per cent as yet but we would both like to do the Nottingham to Amsterdam Cycle Challenge 2015 but with riding from Nottingham to Stratford the two days previous to the event, putting an extra 170+ miles on the tally.
As we are usually close rivals we are both hoping to raise more awareness. It won’t only be Men United, it will be Nottingham United.
Notts fans can still show their support for the Team NCFC duo by visiting both riders’ Just Giving pages: IAN ORTON & KEITH STEWART.
With the help of Notts fans, Team NCFC have already raised nearly £4,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.