Day One - Cycle 250 - Sheffield to Nottingham

Hills, hills, hills…

The moment we left our base at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield we were pumped, the entire team was cheering, ringing their bells and had plenty of energy about them. 30 miles in, it was a whole different story. Complete silence, heads down and a mass of seriously tired cyclists! To make light of the tough times, in and amongst the steep inclines of Yorkshire were quaint little villages where the locals would wave and yell hello as we cycled through, which was really nice to see. There were moments of absolute agony as we rode up and up and up, along with moments of complete tranquillity and peace as we passed our way through the countryside.

With the team switching from single file to having two abreast, our stat man managed to win the award for the first person to tumble, off to the side of the grass curb in ever so stylish fashion! The cycling experience of Grace Carter helped her get out of a couple of sticky situations, which I’m not so sure would have been the case with the rest of us beginners! In saying that, the Queen(s) of the Hill today goes to the Ginger Duo of Jenn Thom and Jo Morgan for leading the team on the big slopes.

The only other misfortune of the day happened to Lucy Wicks, realising she had a flat tire and after a failed attempt to fix it, was left stranded with one of our cycle leaders before help came to pick them up.

After 6 hours of solid of cycling, the “Welcome to Nottingham’ sign was one of the most relieving sights we had seen! The pride and happiness that came over us as we rode into Market Square in the city centre was just amazing. Only day one, and for experienced cyclists perhaps not such a big feat, but for this team, after a long summer competitive season and having never rode more than a hours length at the max, it felt great! Only three more to go.

We then played a match on the sand court in Market Square against Nottingham Rockets Ladies team. Members of the club came out to support the team and they were fantastic sports by helping the GB team to get the public involved and trying out volleyball on the court. We are very appreciative of the Rockets club and thank them for all of their help and support.

A long day overall, complementary dinner at the Up and Down Under bar in Nottingham City Centre was a feast and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The main lesson to come out of day one – never leave the pack without a map (about 10 of us took a minor detour and had to play catch up..oops!)

A much needed sleep to come.

Jo Healy

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