Mud, Sweat and Charity.

After months of raising money, it was time for TSM and Janet to do their epic charity ride Liverpool to Leeds along the canal in mud.

Our hero TSM and Janet set off on Friday 5 April alongside them rode three amigos  George Scaife  the Eddie Merckx of Whitworth, Steve Lord, Lancashire’s finest amateur rider and the undercover cyclist known as the Stig.

They set off in fine weather but after only 8 miles in, “boom!” They hit a bad patch of unserviceable path and for most of the journey it was horrendous mud.  Hence the song mud, mud, glorious mud.

As they struggled with the muddy conditions the tandem lost control and over, they went into the mud. Poor George fell off twice, there was only one option but to walk for several miles.

So, the first day was a trial and hard work as they reached the Top Locks at Wigan, and they called in for a well-deserved pint.

That evening the team spent an hour cleaning the bikes off and another hour hosing down George.

The next day setting off in brilliant sunshine, but the high winds soon whipped up as Wigan was left behind for the rolling Lancashire Countryside. TSM says “yet again the path disappeared, and we found ourselves in the middle of a field with the winds howling at 40/50 MPH.  This in itself was another challenge as at one stage the wind tossed us into a fence” .  Walking was the only real option. Approaching Burnley, the path reappeared, and good progress was made towards the  overnight stop at the Old Stone Trough Inn Foulridge where the Team met up with a saddle sore George and his trainer Di.

What a relief to sit down in great company to a lovely evening meal with banter/laughter as they recalled the adventure, before turning in for a good night sleep.

Sunday saw the final push and once again within a few miles the mud bath began and as it had poured down overnight the conditions were once again horrible even to walk was a big ask for the Team.

As luck happened a road runs down the side of the canal down to Gargrave and with a perfect run all the way to Skipton. By now the wind was taking its toll. Roughly 5 miles down the tow path they hit another bad patch but this time it was tree roots and by this time TSMs little legs were buckling. Reaching Bingley 5 locks where TSM lost the will to carry on. Every team need a general and Janet rallied the troops to go over the hill for the last time. Fortified by mars bars /cakes /drinks and Janet willing Team TSM on, they realised that there was only 16 miles to go to complete  this epic journey.  There in the distance was Yorkshires metropolis Leeds, and the final mile into Leeds and the end.

127 miles later, what an experience, with amazing friends. TSM would like to thank his amazing team of intrepid cyclists. The team would like to thank everyone who donated to our worthy charity ELMBF which has made this journey worthwhile.

Your Roving Reporter and Charity Steward TSM.

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