Notts rider Keith Stewart writes for the club’s Official Site on his epic trip from Nottingham to Amsterdam raising money for Prostate Cancer in the Football League event…
Today seen us starting the official London to Amsterdam challenge, with the first day travelling from Leyton Orient (The Matchroom Stadium) to Harwich.
Before we headed off we all sat inside the stadium for a briefing and pictures. It was good to meet up with Lee, a Norwich fan who had cycled this event with me last year.
The first 15 miles through central London was terrible with several of us getting injured. At one point a taxi driver pulled out into the cycle lane from a side road directly in front of a cyclist; this cyclist also had a dozen other cyclists immediately behind him (including me) and so we ended up with a domino effect – I was fortunate enough to only end up with 2 bruises on my left hip and a grazed elbow.
I was to learn later on in the ride that another cyclist had been knocked over by a van and had 6 stitches in the side of his knee, OUCH!
After leaving the busy roads of London we headed into the Essex countryside where there were some spectacular views and a few small hills to test myself after so many miles already.
After only 26 miles we had our first snack/water stop (this was the longest we had to cycle without a stop throughout days 3 and 4).
We soon headed off again for another 20 miles or so through more Essex countryside until we found our lunch stop. Lunch was a buffet of baked potatoes, vegetable soup, baked beans and cheese – which I gladly fed my face with.
The next stage had us travelling through the lush Essex countryside again, towards Colchester where we would find our 3rd stop at Colchester Community Stadium. Colchester itself was very hilly with a sharp climb into Colchester and a long steep decline out the other end.
After leaving Colchester Community Stadium we headed out for the last stretch towards Harwich; this last section was the hilliest of all, with the climbs getting slightly bigger the closer we got to Harwich.
Arriving at Harwich we stopped for the day at the rugby club where our day bags were already laid out in a tent for us to pick up and go and get a shower.
The showers reminded me of the showers at school – multiple showers in a room which never got above freezing temperatures!
To be fair, it was funny listening to the profanity of the other lads getting their showers after you, when they realised how cold they were.
We could then go and get some food from the amazing buffet set up for us upstairs – chicken curry, roast pork, soups, and plenty of puddings – and of course a well deserved pint.
After a while, giving everyone a chance to eat and get a shower, we had a debriefing in the big tent where 3 riders were given an orange jersey to celebrate the huge amounts of money they had raised for Prostate Cancer UK.
Shortly after, we all boarded 3 coaches which transferred us to Harwich port ready to board the ferry. On the ferry we simply found our cabins to dump our bags, then headed to the bar for a couple of quiet pints before bed.
Read more of Keith’s diary on the Official Site throughout the summer.
To donate £5 TEXT - NOTT98 £5 to 70070
To donate £10 TEXT - NOTT98 £10 to 70070
To read more and view more images/video’s of the London to Amsterdam event organised by Prostate Cancer UK andThe Football League, simply do a social network search (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) for the hashtag #l2a