Wednesday, 20 July 2016

LEG 7 - DAY 2: Cleethorpes - Hunstanton

RNLI TOUR OF BRITAIN - LEG 7 - DAY 2 from Rad Hart-George on Vimeo.

We have arrived in Cleethorpes, at the end of one of our hardest days of the tour so far: Utterly cream-crackered. 

While the terrain of the day has been relatively gentle, the heatwave which we experienced today with temperatures of over 30c, and covering a distance of over 175 Km, much of which was off road, completely took it out of us.

Our alarm woke us at 6.15am and we were on the road within half an hour, in an attempt to get a few miles under our belts while it was still relatively cool. The terrain was pretty flat, which was very welcome, with wide expanses of farmland, regularly interspersed wind farms, caravan parks. 

The first station was in the Victorian seaside town of Bridlington, just a short distance down the coast. A quick photograph outside the station and we got underway immediately.

We ploughed on across gently undulating countryside, with a noticeable increase in temperatures. Conscious of this we had drunk 3 litres of fluids by the time we reached the next RNLI station of  Withernsea. A slightly quieter seaside town from what we saw of it, but with stunning far reaching sandy beaches. A small refuel and some stretches and we back underway.

Having been warned by the crew at Flamborough that the Humber RNLI station at the end of Spurn Head was inaccessible by bike (as the road had been washed away and replaced by a large sand dune!) we called the station in advance. The crew very kindly hooked up a trailer to their Landrover Defender to come and get us. It turns out that the sand also makes Spurn Head inaccessible to Defenders as the crew promptly got stuck, and needed to call in another defender. Eventually we all got underway down the 5km spit which extends across the mouth of the Humber Estuary.  One of the most remote and busy stations in the UK, Spurn Head is manned 24/7by a permanent crew as the spit gets cut off from the mainland with reasonable regularity. A very welcome cup of tea and some biscuits and we were under way again. 

The shocker of today, was that from Spurn Head to Cleethorpes (our final destination) was around 3 miles across the estuary. However, with no ferries across, our only was of getting there war to head inland, through the lovely Hull, across the Humber Bridge and back down the other side- some 90km! Add to this 30c heat, already tired legs and Rad's very off road cycle trails,  and we were in for a nightmare afternoon. Certainly, for the 45km after the Humber Bridge, through Grimsby, we were running on empty...

It was with enormous relief that we eventually arrived in Cleethorpes- shattered.

Enormous Thanks to the incredibly welcoming and generous crew of the Cleethorpes RNLI. As the station was too small to accommodate us on the floor, Ash very kindly put us up in his very comfortable hotel over the road, and xxxxxxxxxx, unbeknown to us, covered our bill at the fantastic Italian restaurant next door. Exactly what we needed to re-charge our batteries in advance of more of the same tomorrow.

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