Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Day 5: Fishguard to Aberystwyth

We woke at Luke Garfield's House just outside Fishguard this morning, after a great night's sleep. Following a quick pack and wash we sat down for breakfast with the others, during which the rain began... By the time we set off, we were having to battle our way through heavy rain and strong winds, both of which worsened over the first hour of the ride, leaving us completely drenched and pretty chilly...

We were however focused on a principal task for the day, while travelling along the coast- to find a bike shop where we could buy Rad some new gear cables... Being stuck in a single gear (which could only be altered by stopping and adjusting his gear hub with a spanner), was clearly less than ideal in the Welsh hills! 

So, the search began, and Rad battled on like a champ without complaint... We did some research the night before and found out that there was a bike shop at our first stop- Cardigan. Fighting our way through the rain and strong head winds, we eventually arrived at Cardigan, only to find out that the bike shop was closed for the Queens Jubilee bank holiday... Great! Time for a plan B...

We headed down to the Cardigan RNLI station, where we were given a very warm welcome and cup of tea by Rachel who works in the RNLI shop. While we were there, we did some Internet research and found out, much to our surprise, that there was a bike shop at our next stop of the day- New Port. We called them and sure enough, they said they were open until 2pm. We explained the predicament but emphasised that we were a little further down the Welsh coast and would do our best to make it to them by 2pm, and they seemed happy to wait for a few minutes past 2pm for us. 

We raced ahead, through the elements to cover the 25 miles to New Quay over some challenging terrain, with Rad still stuck in one gear. It only dawned on us about 15 minutes before arrival however that there are the Newquay's... Sure enough the one we were visiting had no bike shop at all, and the shop keeper in New Quay- Cornwall - hadn't thought it worth mentioning that he wasn't In Wales! Time for plan C...  

While having lunch in Newquay (Wales!) we did some further research online and found out that Aberystwyth (the final stop of the day) had a Halfords which closed at 6pm. The race was on again, and with Rad still stuck in one gear (stubbornly refusing to let me take any of his kit) progress was not fast! After a long and hilly ride, but thankfully with some marginally better weather we arrived at Halfords with two minutes to spare and Rad at last had the parts he needed to fix his bike.

Soaked and windswept we headed on through the town to Aberystwyth RNLI station where, completely unannounced
we were given the warmest welcome we have received on he expedition to date. 14 of the crew had come down to greet us as we cycled in, with 'Welcome Rad and Nick' signs in the windows, a cold drink waiting, hot shower and then the most incredible home cooked dinner laid on by the crew. It was truly phenomenal, and hugely appreciated by us both- especially after what had been a bit of a nightmare day.


We had a fantastic meal with them all, and heard about their recent call out's  and some of the more amusing experiences they have had over the years. After supper, e went down to the boat for a photo with the crew and an couple of Rad and I dressed up in RNLI dry suits, before saying our farewells. Heading back up to the Crew Room Rad and I then set about fixing his bike- which with huge relief, we achieved, in preparation for a long day's cycle tomorrow.


No comments:

Post a Comment