One last effort..
Today was probably the easiest day of our journey so far, not so much the cycling itself – five hours from Reading to Richmond wasn’t easy – but waking up in the morning with the knowledge that our epic adventure would soon be over and that tomorrow we can rest our tired legs.
Our cycle navigators Mel and Louise were joined by an experienced London cyclist, Alex, to help lead the team into London. Alex’s help was greatly appreciated as the roads became busier and more frantic than what we had previously experienced.
We stopped briefly in Richmond Green where the team were greeted by the Richmond Volleyball Club as well as a few friendly locals who had heard about our fundraising and kindly donated to our cause. It was great to see some keen volleyballer’s and also gain some extra support for all of our hard work.
I can’t describe the feeling of finally arriving into Westminster, it became real, we had made it. We were met by our FTSE 100 partners Vertex, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Westminster and a host of our support network in the Lord Mayors Chambers on 18th floor of Westminster City Hall – such an amazing view of London and a banquet of nibbles to revive tired legs, perfect after five hours of cycling!! There was a genuine admiration of what we were doing, both the cycle itself and the determination of the team to put volleyball on the map. On behalf of the GB Women’s team, everyone’s support has been truly appreciated, we can’t thank you enough.
The next stop was Trafalgar Square where Panasonic and Capital fm met us to mark two years to the London Olympics. There was such a buzz and sense of excitement as we arrived to a mass crowd of cheers and applause. Seeing ourselves on the big screen in the middle of London emphasised what a great achievement we had made.
Last stop was Earls Court, the venue that will host the Olympic volleyball in two years time. Friends of the team and the organisers that made the whole event happen were there to congratulate us on arrival. It was a strange feeling getting off the bikes knowing that we wouldn’t be back on them later. Of course there was immense pride and relief radiating from each and every one of us, but it was almost as if we had come to the end of an era, it was a very emotional time for all of us. The next time we see this venue will be the 2012 Games and being there on this day was all the motivation we need for the next 2 years.
This ride was not about the cycling, it is about keeping our 2012 Olympic Dream alive… not just to be at London 2012 but to be successful.
I am so proud of my team mates and thankful to the support staff for helping us reach London. By far some of the hardest moments but also some of the best moments were had and I will remember it forever. I am now looking forward now to the next 8 months playing abroad and already can’t wait to rejoin my teammates for the 2011 summer competitive season.