Police Unity Tour 2013: Day 3 Road to Nowhere

What a difference 24 hours make. Well 24 hours ago, Wigan had never won a major trophy and now they are FA Cup holders.

The last 24 hours also made a huge difference to my experience of the Police Unity Tour.

Last night we had some ferocious storms whilst we were asleep. Indeed, the wind, rain and thunder & lightning woke me up more than once in the night. However, on waking up this morning at 05:00, the rain had eased off and whilst it was damp outside, it did not seem too bad. The biggest decision to be made was what kit to wear. I settled on shorts, overshoes and a short sleeved top with my rain jacket in my pocket. At breakfast I decided to put on my cycling jacket as well. Then 2 minutes later I took it off as it was too warm, then put it back on again and repeated this several times. I then hit on the idea of getting Lisa to put my top in her rucksack. Job sorted. Time to head over to the car park opposite the hotel for the Grand Depart. The usual marshall’s meeting took place, then all the riders were told to gather behind the lead vehicle. There Pat Montuore the founder of the event, and still the police chief in Florham Park, addressed the crowd breaking the news that today’s ride had been cancelled. Pat was clearly devastated as he explained the reason for this bombshell.

Today’s ride was to be a 94 mile ride mainly through the open countryside in Maryland where there was no cover and we would be riding in thunderstorms. The organisers were not prepared to take the risk of a lightning strike perhaps sensible when there were 600 of us riding on carbon or steel lightning conductors. Pat’s speech was the speech of a true leader and he brought the whole Tour behind him and made people look at it positively.

Now we had the problem of transporting 600 cyclists and their bikes to Annapolis. This decision was announced at 07:00. We were told buses would arrive at 11:00 for us. Trucks would take the bikes and until 11:00 we could go back to our hotels. I rushed back to change out of my cycling kit only to find that our luggage had already gone. This meant I was left wearing my cycling shoes with the cleats protruding. These are not easy to walk in or very good for my knee. Jeremy & myself went on a wander to find a shop selling flip flops which we managed and ended up buying wet shoes for$10. These were comfortable & much better than cycling shoes. Then it was back to the hotel & free coffee/ tea and extra breakfast. The staff at the Inn at Wilmington looked after us well, happily providing unlimited drinks & breakfast.

I made use of the wi fi to have a bbm voice chat (like apple’s face time) with Tom. Then Jeremy & I went into Dave’s BBQ Pit for an early lunch before the buses arrived.

school bus

The bus trip took a good couple of hours to get us here to Annapolis. We arrive here by around 2pm. It was warm and very close in Annapolis. After a quick shower and a chat with Michelle via Skype, it was time to head out for pizza and beers.

It was unusual to have the chance to see Annapolis by daylight. It is a beautiful harbour and home to the US Naval Academy. So all in all it was a bit of a non event today other than a sightseeing trip.

As I have been typing this tonight another heavy thunderstorm is overhead. The good news is that it is expected to have passed overnight and we should have a dry, albeit less warm ride tomorrow. The issue tomorrow is the wind with it forecast to be a 16-20mph headwind. The ride tomorrow is only 36 or so miles, but it is the hilliest day. The headwinds will make this even harder than it usually is, BUT…tomorrow we reach the Memorial & it will be great to see those families there who have turned out to remember loved ones. It will be especially good to see Barb ride into the monument to fulfil that dream she had last year after seeing us ride into the memorial in memory of her father and step father. Barb, I know you read this blog, and I want you to know the whole of Team Ohio International are so proud of your achievements and  the determination you have shown to overcome your problems and to honour your father (and stepfather). You have shown how a determined person can make their dream come true. We would love to see you come back again.

The Data for Today:

Miles Ridden 0.0

Breakfasts Eaten: 2 – huge calorific ones

Lunches Eaten: 1 mega calorific one

Dinner Eaten: 1 Mega Calorific pizza topped with extra calories

Beers Drunk: Numerous

Fun Had: Loads

The song for today goes something like this

The wheels on the bus go round and round
Round and round, round and round
The wheels on the bus go round and round
All day long!

The bell on the bus goes DING DING DING
DING DING DING, DING DING DING
The bell on the bus goes DING DING DING
All Day long!

The wipers on the bus go SWISH SWISH SWISH
SWISH SWISH SWISH, SWISH SWISH SWISH
The wipers on the bus go SWISH SWISH SWISH
All Day long.

The driver on the bus says
“Any more fares, any more fares, any more fares.”
The driver on the bus says: “any more fares”
All day long!