Sunday, 25 October 2009

Barry Turtle - End of riding

Finished riding @ 16:36 hours today! We are staying in a top hotel and now off for dinner. It really is relentless, we have not had a second. Even this PM after coming in by calalcade into Port Elizabeth they took us off to the sand dunes for 2 hours of hell!
Now trying to take it all in.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Barry Turtle - End of the Wild Coast

We have now come to the end of the Wild Coast and all of its technical challenges. We are staying in the best situated room I have ever had on the 3rd floor corner of the Morgan Bay Hotel.
The room is the size of my downsatirs at homeand is surrounded by rolling water and sandy beaches.
The next two days are through forests and countryside and then the game reserves covering 550k!
Barry x

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Matt Felkin(Yellow team)

Matt writes to say that he is on the Yellow team following his riding assessment (although I have a feeling Matt played down his skills to enable him to catch the scenery), the weather has now improved.
47 riders completed "The Gorge"plus some other hard sections, Matt did the coastal route with the Orange team(Rainbow day).
Injuries for this day included two blown knees, three thumbs,and Matt's wrist after he ditched his bike down a big hole! (hopefully Matt you shared these injuries with some other riders, either that or you have an extra thumb?)
Matt sent this text from the Kabin where is is very kindly having an Amstel for me(cheers buddy I am on nights!)
A second text from Matt 2 minutes after this one informs us that he did his knee and toe on a big boulder, he still finished his section though, just going through for Dinner at the Hole in the Wall.
Speak soon.

Matt Felkin update.

Sorry folks, I seem to have missed this text message from Matt.
One member was Shit faced on the plane, I'll tell you about it when I get back!
Just on our way to the hotel and its hot(1st Day) it's a 2 hour trip. Journey was good and I have got your dog picture(border collie at the airport)
It's bloody warm, only 1 member 75 riders I think on this one?
Cheers Matt

Barry Turtle (Cremone)

Check out the Maroon teams web site. by Sam Dalton, it shows where we are by GPS and has info etc. Love you
07:32 20/10/09 We are leaving Cremone this morning, yesterday did not go to plan. The guys on the hard morning route took 6 hours to do 18k! So the afternoon ride suffered and we hit the bar!
Today we ride 135k to Hole in the Wall.x

Friday, 16 October 2009

Matt Felkin (Heathrow)

Matt is at the departure lounge with Simon Garry, Perry from Canada, Knowle, Sam and another fella. The second leg have managed to get an extra 20kg for their hold luggage, if they knew that before hand it would have saved a lot of worries with the packing.
Matt has a seat in the middle of the plane but the mission to get the picture of the Border Collie cut out at Jo'Berg is still on.

Barry Turtle(Heathrow)

Thanks to all for your support and good wishes. I am now in the departure lounge at Heathrow and meeting the first few riders, feels good!

South African Firework Display

Ok so now the others are on their way and won't be reading this blog untill they return I will mention the awsome firework display at both Durban and Jo'Berg airports!
When we arrived at Durban it was heavy and overcast, by the time we were on the tarmac all hell had broken loose, the lightning was I swear as thick as tree trunks and was hitting ground all around us at an alarming rate. I thought obviously we will be delayed until the storm has abated, there is now way we can take off in this, is there?
The plane started to taxi away from the terminal as it got darker and darker, it stopped tuned and in seconds the roar of the two Rolls Royce engines drowned out the sound of the thunder, "Oh shit I don't fancy this" I thought!
We cleared the runway and for a few moments I thought, "Ah thats not so bad, expected it to be rougher than that" Then we hit the cloud and flew right into the storm!!!!
The engines whined and seemed to rev up and down as the plane was battered by the turbulance, often dropped alarmingly leaving a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, like being on a trackless roller coaster. If I thought I had done some scary stuff over the last 12 days, this put things into perspective as I seriously started thinkin about my family having to cope without me, I am not religeous but at times like this you clutch at straws!
After about 10 minutes(or was it 10 hours?) we were looking down into the clouds and seeing the full extent of the storm from above where thankfully it was a lot calmer.
In just over an hour we landed in Jo'Berg, 50 minutes later were were again at the end of the runway in a big Airbus, The storm was here too!
I though, "Ah big plane so this won't be so bad" WRONG! Same scenario, If my wife Di had been with me we would have still been in the terminal building booking a hotel for a few days, and I would not have blamed her.
Anyway we made it but that is a part of the journey I won't forget in a hurry.
Thank you all again for your support with Enduroafrica, family friends, businesses and HLLA (Ambleside Club and Cricket team) It was a wonderful experience and the two days at the schools will leave lasting memories.
I have made an offer to the guys on the second leg, if they want to send messages to friends and family, pictures etc, they can text them to me and I will put them on this blog, so the blog will live on for a while longer so watch this space.
Thank you all,
Bob and Neil

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Enduro Africa - Ride of a Lifetime

Well folks we are back and have had the experience of a lifetime, thanks to Global Enduro and Mike Glover's Red Cherry Adventures. I have to say that the team were brilliant, Big Mike Glover is a real character with a sense of "I am gonna help these kids"
It was a real heart lifting experience to visit the two schools and deliver tables, chairs, toys, posters, matresses so the small children can have a comfortable knap in the afternoon. Build a Jungle Gym, fit doors on classrooms, carpets, fit locks and concrete window sills to finish off abandoned projects.
As I think I have said before, these kids have nothing but are still happy, little boys wearing Barby T shirts, odd shoes and obvious hand me downs, however most of the kids are turned out immaculately in uniforms with crisp white shirts, even if they are bare footed.
Take a photo of them and show them on your camera to make their day, if only I had a mini printer so I could have printed them off a photo!
The last day was a hard one, descending a steep muddy gorge to a River crossing with a demonstration by Eddie, Gary and the legendary Darell Curtis who lead the Yellow team for our trip, is there nothing they can climb? Respect, and I mean big time.
Mike Glover will occasionally ride with you and you may hear the phrase "You have been Glovered" when he leads you from the planned route to try something a little more interesting!
The two Doc's Emile and Adrian were characters, you may hear about a TTFU tablet (it's invisible and delivered orally!) Plus the phrase "If you can't fix it by beating it with a hammer, then it's probably electrical" The Doc's are surgeons, Emile holds a record of treating 22 patients with stab wounds in their hearts in a space of 9 months(Capetown A&E), 19 survived. When Eddie picked up a 2" cactus thorn in his hand he was in good care, still hurt like a B'stard though!
A cracking night followed at the TO Strand Hotel, watch out for the swimming pool finale that has become a ritual.
I am sorry if I have made one or two of you apprehensive, you will utter the "F" word many times in many forms i.e."What the F" , "F in Hell", "F right off" etc, I wish I had a F ometer in my helmet to count the times I said it but I wouldn't miss a moment of it.
Mike Glover will issue a safety brief on the first night and team briefings nightly, including issuing Spirit and Dick of the day awards, listen to what he says, he knows best trust me.
Just to reiterate some helpful (I hope) hints:
  • Don't ride in someone elses dust, it tastes like Shite and you will not see that rut that will spit you off, you must plan ahead and read the roads, never travel so fast that you can't stop withing the distance you can see to be clear.
  • Expect a dog to run out and I can assure you it will, our count was 5 dogs and a tortoise.
  • Expect a cow to be round that bend, there are bloody hundreds of the things all over the shop.
  • Goats generally run away from the bike(not always as I found out) sheep are just suicidal!
  • If you are not comfortable with the pace of your team, slow down and tell the leader/sweep, there is no shame in moving down a group. If you race everywhere you will miss the scenery.
  • Don't day dream about that nice shower and a beer at the end of the day, the roads have a nasty habit of turning a corner and turing into a 1 in 20 just before another tight bend.
  • Don't be fooled by the roads, cars use them too, I saw two riders do a right hander on a hill on the wrong side of the road, a black truck just missed them!
  • Watch out for shiny clay roads.
  • 30mm handlebar risers would be good investment, Alfred with gladly fit them for you, it will make standing up on the little CRF230's a lot easier and enhance your enjoyment of these brilliant little parafin donkey's.
  • Spare goggles are a good idea.

If I can help in away way to make sure you are prepared for this fantastic ride, I will check the blog on a regular basis before you leave. It would be good also to receive some comments on here whilst you are out there.

See you at the Dirty Weekend in Wales next year.

Have a graet time, Bob&Neil

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Don't expect this to be easy and you won't be disapointed

We Woke this morning to a dull muggy day, still raining and the roads very wet. As we set off for TO strand Rathers came off on the same stretch of muddy road that felled him last night, which completely buggered his confidence. The roads are hell on earth, 2k down the road i picked up a puncture in my rear tyre. We set off and Rathers said to me "I have a really bad feeling about today" - Within 200m both he and martin the rear sweep were on their backsides in the mud. Martin injured his foot and needed a strong painkiller to be able to continue the journey. Then came a massive gorge downhill, descent and a river crossing, I never knew how much i could sweat getting a bike downhill, should be easy shouldn't it?
The rest of the ride was on wet modelling clay, team 2 - its cold and wet in the hills, bring something to stop the cold!
As i write this we are being entertained at the Strand, knackered and walking like John Wayne.
Cant wait to be back with our families now!
Team 2 - good luck and i hope this blog has helped you some, enjoy it folks - its bloody hard work but you will remember the sights, sounds and smells for as long as you live!
Love Bob and Neil xxx

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Ever tried to ride a duck on a pond of snot?

Well today was only 47km but was a very technical day. After the very heavy rain overnight and the persistant drizzle today the hard mud tracks have turned to the consistency of melted cream eggs! Those steep hill climbs were a bugger!
The day was split into two parts, this morning was supposed to be easy and the real hard bit was after lunch, a river crossing had to be done by wading through waist height water whilst carrying the bikes. However our leader Darrel ,who has no fear and rides up the impossible, advised that the whole team should not attempt the afternoon ride, there is no support possible in that region even by air, if someone blows a clutch then the bike stays there - remember 'you bend, you mend' - dont fancy forking out for a new bike!!
A few dicky tummies around today, could be down to some of the shitty water we have been riding through.
Tip of the day for team 2 - if you have any 30mm bad risers, bring them with you, it will make the little CRF a lot easier to ride standing up.
I am now relaxing in the bar with Mike Poxon and a few of the boys.
Looking forward to seeing my family again.
Rathers is also missing Majella!
Last riding day tomorrow, bet you guys coming on the second trip are getting really excited now!
TTFN Bob and Neil

Friday, 9 October 2009

Hello, Lucy again - apologies from bob but accommodation is basic this evening with no Internet access.
Today they made their way 171K to Cremorne at the Riverside Lodge. Roads were very bendy with lots of gravel and you cant afford to take your eyes off the road. A few people fell off bikes due to this. Was a very hairy ride due to the fact they were attacked by dogs, chickens, sheep, cows in the middle of the road, cars on the wrong side of the road and even kids throwing rocks at the bikes! One kid managed to hit a bike and it knocked all the kit of the front. Also there were quite a few punctures today.
Bikes!! - Don't expect road legal bikes - no indicators, mirrors, horns or brake lights! Make sure you read the small print on the bike hand over form - basically - "you bend, you mend" If you break your clutch etc you will be paying for it!
All in all a straight forward day, where they are staying tonight is very noisy being next to a river and pond, frogs whistling and other animals making all sorts of sounds.
Apologies to Mick - he was hoping to send some photos to you but hasn't been able to do so.
He hasn't seen any mosquito's yet, however he might do tonight! The River lodge hotel has limited accommodation with some people have to sleep in the conference room on mattresses.
They did a steep climb today and he said he ended up in a bush on the back wheel - which he does not recommend.
He also added that when they arrived at the lodge today it was chucking it down with rain!
He says everyone is OK and hopes that tomorrow the accommodation will be slightly better and he will have access to the Internet again to update you.
Sorry again if it is jumbled!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Update by Phone

Hello this is Lucy, Bobs daughter!
He's apolagised that he cannot update the blog himself but he has not got access to the internet right now, so has phoned me and asked me to update for him. Sorry if its abit jumbled ill try my best to get down everything he has told me!
They biked across the famous Gorge today and found it very difficult, apparently its a thousand foot drop into the gorge and then a river crossing! He said also he doesnt fancy being in the shoes of group 2 - good luck boys!
They did about 147K today which was very hard and included alot of river crossings. He even got wet hands at one point the river was that deep.
Today the team suffered from 3 punctures, a broken clutch and 3 people went over the handlebars, but were all ok. One person went into the trees and a few people were troubled by the ruts. They have also lost another team member today to four broken ribs - this was due to a non-biking incident!!!
However they did make the journey in record time, the yellow team were the fastest to ever do it. They ended up at the Hole in the Wall hotel.
Along the journey they were greeted by lots of school children waving and visited a round house and saw how the villagers lived. I think they were moved by this experience as they all donated 20 rands of their own money each to the children. They were told afterwards that this is a phenomenal amount of money to them and they would be stunned.
Tomorrow they have a late start of 9am and is a 'cruising day' apparently.
He cannot post any photos as it is simply too expensive!
Apparently Neils cumbrian foot is ok but his durban bottom(?) is sore!
Sounds like they had another good day anyway! Sorry if this is abit jumbled..ive just written the notes up i have taken from the phone call.
Bob is hoping he can get back online tomorrow and update

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Transkei High

Apologies for no blog yesterday, by the time I had eaten and asked about the internet usage it was too late, access is only between 8a and 6p, it's dial up too!
Yesterday we hit the Transkei and visietd one of the schools on the Touch Africa project, we delivered tables, chairs, toys and supplies,the children were fantastic and all imaculate considering their surroundings, it's nothing for them to walk 8k to school. We then set off for some really tough riding, and I mean tuff!
We lost a member of our team for 4 broken bones in his foot, quite a few injuries were received by the riders and we were all dead on our feet when we got to the hotel (Me and Rathers were ok)
This morning we set off for another school and got stuck in to putting up a "Jungle Gym", painting, putting doors and locks on, carpeting the floors, putting in concrete window sills, even cooked for the kids and refurbished tables.
Rathers also played his pipes for the kids which they loved, so did the mums and dads, saw some strange dancing!
Tips, take goggles with you to schools to keep dust out of eyes (when sweeping floors, sanding etc)
Watch out if you swim in the bay at Mezzappa bay, Great whites have been seen there!
Thats all for now, sorry its brief but the computer is very slow.
Bob & Neil x

Monday, 5 October 2009

Port Alfred to Morgan Bay

Here we are at Morgan Bay Hotel, the ride here was not without incident, one bike written off today after a collision with a tree on a right hand bed! Right, here is the tip of the trip. Mike the boss of Red Cherry Adventures will tell you on day 1, don't ride in some one elses dust, it tastes awful and you cant see "Jack Shit", good advice people, heed it and heed it well! I came out of a dust cloud today and I was on an island between 2 ruts that could bury a bike, if you get in one of these at speed you will be sorry!!
Ride safe, enjoy the trip and for gods sake, don't get sucked into trying to be at the front all the time, space out(Thats the copper speaking and enough for now)
Do bring waterproofs, This morning it rained constantly, we were all soaked through and it is bloody cold believe me. Then the sun came out and again the roads turned to dust, believe me, sometimes you will pray for tarmac!
Be aware that if you get wet, then dusty, it will knacker your visor/goggles. Bring spares or some T Cut or Brasso to polish the fine scratches out,
Plenty of wildlife again today, watch out for the cow type thingies, they are mad! A monkey tried to comit Harry Karry today in front of one rider too.
Still we are all here safe again, just had a beer on the balcony and watched a school of dolphins in the bay, 30 minutes before we were swimming in the same place. Tomorrow we hit the Transkai, people are still fantastic, you will love them! only 80k tomorrow but it will take us 8 hours!
Dinner calls so must go, To Majella, I am looking after Neil, To a new friend's wife Michael Poxon he is safe well and sends his love. To My family Mwhah!
More tomorrow(Oh Morgan Bay Hotel have Internet access to peeps)
Loe you all, keep the comments coming please, DI, READ THE BLOG. Matt Felkin, your bike is still in one piece mate(so Far)
Bob and Neil XXX

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Day 3, now were talking!

Well with much pomp and ceremony we set off from Port Elizabeth 30 minutes later than planned due to the local Old Bill not quite getting there act together, The first fall off of the day went to a poor chap who pushed his bike out into the road, only to fall over it.
We travelled about 10K out of town and then we went off road for a 37K technical section to sort the men from the boys, this involved many river/stream crossings , sometimes riding down stream for a way in the water, watch it team 2 its rocky!
Then we had a cheeky little decent down a steep rocky gorge, this did sort the men from the boys, bikes going off the track left right and well not quite centre, we both did it quite easlily. This done we set off for about 70K accross some very dusty tracks/roads(Most of the roads are mud) For lunch we dropped in at a game reserve where we were treated to a ride in a land Rover to see the Rhinos, Zebras, Gazelles, Springboks, Wart hogs, all sorts! Sadly we did not have time to see the lions before we dined on some of the former residents of the reserve! Nice nosh though and a lovely local pudding a bit like sticky toffee Pud.
After lunch we were awarded our team colours, and guess what, Rathers and I are in the Gold team, which is the first team to set out each day being the quickest and most technically competent, Wooooohooooooooo!
Lots of dusty roads followed, we covered nearly 300K today and we are all filthy.
We saw quite a bit of wildlife, monkeys at the side of the road, a Guinea Fowl nearly took my head off, a Hare diced with death in front of me and two wild cow type things raced us down a track!
We are now at the hotel in Port Alfred and its nearly dinner time.
Tips for team 2 (Oct 13th trip) The plugs out here are 3 round pins like our old sockets years ago, bring plenty of adapters, they don't sell em out here.
Internet access so far has not been a problem, wifi hotspots are at this hotel and the one in Port Elizabeth.
Practice slow riding and technical stuff, rough terrain!
The people out here are very friendly, everyone waves and shouts as we ride by, the scenery is stunning already and we havent reached the Transkai yet, one minute you think you are in Wales, then in rural England, then Spain!
Thanks everyone for your comments on the Blog, We are both missing our family's, Majella Niel says he loves you lots, Di, Matt, Lucy, Nikki and Eve, love you Lots.
Off towards Morgans Bay, tomorrow.
PS, Majella, Neils Cumbrian foot is improving but Charlie the bear who is caging a ride on Neils handlebars is a bit grubby!
Later Peeps,
Bob&Neil x

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Jo'Berg Airport

Well we have officially set foot on South African soil, last night went well with many new friendships already developing. The flight was on time to the minute. We talked Rathers into playing us on the the plane, I reckon we walked half a mile through the various corridors to the gate and all the way people were rushing out of shops to get a glimpse of the piper, we were photographed, video'd and pleople clapped along with us as we went by, what a fantastic way to leave the UK, in Style!
We now have a 3 hour wait at Jo'Berg for our connecting flight to Port Elizabeth, Rathers wants a glass of breakfast,(What on earth could that be?)
The weather looks just like home but its muggy, One fo Di my wife here, when we landed in Jo'Berg I looked out of the window to be greeted by a 10 foot tall cut out of a Border Collie on top of one of the airport buildings, looked just like Eve our dog.
As I type Rathers has just informed me that the his clinical condition known as Cumbrian Foot has flared up! I will explain later, no doubt we will have a Durban knee to add to that when we come home.
Off to explore the airport now, very clean and modern, and BIG!
Later folks, thanks for looking,
Bob and Neil.x

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Malc Canon and Ambleside

After a mornings fishing with my mate Bozzy who has just turned 60 and is reaping the benefits of OAP concessions on prescriptions fishing rates etc(My concession is to let him beat me every now and again) We popped in to see Malc and Ann Canon form Canon Intersports in Nuneaton/Hinckley.
Malc had agreed to sponsor us by providing us with a couple of essential bits of kit, Camel Backs(well Northface to be precise) These will be used every day whilst riding, Thanks agin Malc and good luck with the marathon later this month. Malc and Ann help children by sponsoring a child/school in I think Sierra Leone, Malc's sponsor money will go towards this, Ann also has managed to pursuade a member of staff doing a bungee jump for her(I think by dubious means?)
Hopefully see you both when we get back.
I forgot to mention that the little get together on Tuesday went very well at the Ambleside club, we packed the bar and drew the grand raffle, as a Thank you to those that again turned up to support us, Majella went out and bought some bottles of drink and some chocolates, then gave everyone a free ticket for an inpromptu raffle.
Thanks everyone, this may be the last blog entry until we get to SA, hopefully I can get to blog whilst we are out there, so watch this space!

Time to pack, and pack, and pack again!

Yesterday I plucked up courage and attacked the packing, we knew that at 20Kg for hold luggage and 8Kg for hand luggage that things were going to be to say the least a bit tight. Our boots weigh in at just under 4Kg a pair, then body armour, leg armour, riding trousers, jacket etc, etc, etc.
On the first try the big red bag was over 23Kg, at £36 a Kg for the 3Kg that was another £118, Bu@@er that for a game of soldiers! out came the excess socks and pants, t shirts, walking boots. After 4 attempts I have managed to get down to below 18Kg, going to wear flip flops to travel and swap into Off Road boots to board the plane.
Rathers had much the same problem, 23Kg without packing his boots, I think now we are both sorted and can calm down a bit to spend a relaxing evening at home before we depart for SA tomorrow morning, Yeh right!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Arai Bone Domes

Well 3 days to go now and I am hoping we have got just about everything ready. Our helmets (Neils is black) are sporting some of our sponsors logos'. If any of our sponsors are reading this blog you have 2 days to get some stickers to us, as you can see there is still some room on our helmets to advertise for you.
In about half an hour we will be off over the road to have our going away drink and draw the prizes for our Enduro Africa prize draw.
Hopefully see you there, money is still coming in with £50 through the door today, Rathers sold some more tickets to his shift last night and he also received £100 and another Chimnea from the Farm Goods shop on the A5 at the Redgate today.
Will update the thermometer after tonight with a more or less final total for our efforts.
See you later peeps,

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Meeting with fellow Enduro's

With 6 days left to wait for our departure to the Wild Coast, I set off Saturday lunchtime time to the Navigation Inn at Overseal to meet up with Mike Poxon and Graham Merrick, just two of our fellow enduro's. Unfortuneately Rathers was unable to make it due to working in M01, the northern motorway car on days. I arrived to find Mike waiting in the car park next to his Yamaha TDM, after a brief introduction we went in to partake in a pint of bitter shandy and a chat whilst we awaited Graham who was in this neck of the woods following a funeral.
Mike is a wealth of knowledge on SA, having lived there for two years and still makes regular trips out there in the course of his business. After a while Graham turned up with his family and we sat down for a good chat about luggage allowances, kit, riding skills, expectations and fears.
I wish I had been able to make the dirty weekend in Wales, it not only sounded like a good night, good food and entertainment, but a lot of past experiences were shared by Enduro Africa vetrans.
Thanks both, it was good to meet you before we go, I have now finished work and will be in a frenzy for the next few days, I think you both finish at the office on Weds, happy packing and look forward to seeing you at the airport.
Now then, tomorrow night at the Ambleside club, sometime after 7:30pm we will be drawing our prize tickets out of a hat, if you can make it, please come along for a drink and see us off. Thats Tuesday 29th of September. Hopefully see some or even all of you there, if not the next time you see us will be when we return, hopefully not too battered and bruised!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Coventry Post Office and Bikesafe

Isn't the world a small place? Following another email from the Enduro Africa team I set off this afternoon to West Orchards in Coventry to obtain an International Driving Permit form the PO in WH Smiths. I am a bit of a dinosaur and still have the old paper driving licence, it is a recommendation that old folk like us should also obtain the IDP for SA.
I took my turn in the queue and was duly handed the application form to complete by one lady, once completed the lady on the next till called me accross. During general chit chat, the lady enquired where I was going to be driving, I filled her in with some details and she said, "so you ride a bike anyway?", "Yes" I replied, "What do you ride?"(you know when a question is put that way that you are talking to someone who might know something about bikes) "A police bike" I replied. "Were you on the bikesafe stand at Gaydon a few weeks back at on the Triumph run?"," Yes I was I replied" "I knew I recognised you, my husband was on the ROSPA stand next to you, I was standing around with the dog"
A general chat then ensued on bikes, What a small world full of coincidence!
Anyway I think I have all the documentation I need now, spent £16 on pain killers, foot powder, lip balm(Cherry, nice) nappy rash powder, well you never know do you?, new socks and pants(just in case I end up in hospital, gotta keep appearances up don't we, I think I remember me mam telling me to wear clean skiddies , just in case) Still don't know what's wrong with wearing skiddies for 4 days, turn em back to front, then repeat the process after turning them inside out?
I must start to pack, if only to weigh up how much I will be over the 20KG allowance.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Training Day

Well today me and the big boy got together for a bit of a workout on the XT's but first we had to attend business at Sonic Communications. The incident that occured just before we left the nick is typical of the sense of humour that we share with our Road's policing colleagues.
DB was sat astride his XT660, helmet and gloves on with his bike parked nose in to a low retaining wall, just as he kicked up the side stand and fired the beasty up, Sgt Jeff Love was walking by. Quick as a flash Jeff ducked down behind DB's bike and took up a bracing position, just under the top box and rack, as DB started to back the bike out jeff pushed back, time and time again DB tried to push the bike backwards out of its parking lot, each time met with equal force from behind, he rocked it backwards forwards, blipped the throttle(Don't know why - frustration) but could not get it to move. After about a dozen goes he glanced my way to see me curling up in a ball on the floor and wailing with laughter! DB couldn't see Jeff in his mirrors until he stood up, Bl@@dy hell it was funny, I was still laughing when we arrived at Sonic 10 minutes later.
We collected our helmet Camera, and two radios with kidney pouches from Liam Thornton and were talked through the techie bits by Wayne. Cheers guys, and thank you again to the MD Mr David Bryan for arranging the kit to be made available to us(Same kit as used in Long Way Down so should be some good footage)
After that we made our way out to an undisclosed location that has some excellent tracks, ruts, slopes, woods etc. My thinking was to get DB back in the saddle on a bigger bike than we will be riding out there in SA, increase our confidence in that if we can get these brutes up the inclines we should be able to throw the little CR230's around.
DB, sorry mate I should have warned you about that big mound and not just expected you to follow me over it and down the other side, you did it though and went back the other way, good fun eh?
A second location provided us with a good long rough climb, to simulate the gorge in SA, plus some horrible ruts, the onew we could see were bad enough but the ones where the new grass had hidden them were to be my down fall, one minute I was there, the next I was chewing daisies! Oh how we laughed, flooded the bike enough to have to remove the plug and dry it out.
All in all a good day out and again credit to the Yamaha XT660R, they went everwhere we wanted them to go.
Tomorrow I think we are both shopping for bum cream and stuff the the trip, 11 days to go and I have to work for 5 of them!
More to follow,
Bob and Neil

Friday, 18 September 2009

2 weeks and counting!

Well 2 weeks to go now, I think we have most of the kit together but still need lots of bits and bobs, you know, Sudocrem, germoline, Gaffa tape(Stop Rathers snoring - bet he has the same idea about me too!) Still not really sinking in that in two weeks we will be a very long way away, doing something we both love and raising money for some great charities at the same time. It's been a couple of years now since I watched Charlie and Ewan do the Long Way Down, I said at one stage to Di(The better half) that I would love to be there, to talk to the locals and take hospitality in one of their homes, no it's real.
One of the highlights will be visiting one of the Schools on the Touch Africa project and giving it a lick of paint. I know that will be a paint job that will remain with me for the rest of my life.
We have had our final instructions for the airport and luggage allowances will be tight, 20kg for the hold and 8kg for hand luggage. It would appear that most of us will be wearing our off road boots at the airport as they weigh a ton, then once on the plane we will take them off and put some flip flops or trainers on. I don't think it will be too difficult to spot our fellow riders in the departure lounge!
I would invite anyone who is still reading this blog to make any comments over the next two weeks, wish us luck, tell us to watch out for mozzies, or anything you wish.
Thanks again for your support, we could not have done this without you.
Come back soon as the Post's will no doubt become more frantic and hopefully funnier.
This weekend I will be on a road bike on "Bikesafe" helping civillian riders improve their skills, a far cry from what is about to come.
One a final note, I have been trying to get the other 100 or so people completing the Enduro challenge on 2nd of Oct to speak to one and other on the Enduro Facebook site, with some success, I think about half a dozen have since come forward and introduced themselves over the last few days.
Enough for now,
Dog wants a beer!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

India Red and Malt Shovel charity cricket match

Just as I was about to engage in another driving lesson with Nikki(eldest daughter) I saw this flash BMW cabriolet pull up on the road outside. It was Ian Gilling from Amblesides cricket section. I have known Ian since school when we were in the same class at George Eliot. Ian told me that there was a charity match on across the road and the £40 fee was for us, in fact they bunged in an extra £20 so he handed me £60. Fantastic I said, thanked him and continued with the driving lesson setting off towards Market Bosworth.
After returning and scoffing a cracking Roast dinner cooked by my lovely wife(don't all throw up at once) my phone went and it was Ian. "Bob, they have had a whipround after the match, can you come over and pick up this money?"
Off I trotted with the pooch, who I later caught having a crafty Guinness!
The whipround totted up to over £123.00! the loose change went in the air ambo box on the bar.
Whilst chatting and thanking the team captains one said, I know you, do you use my resturante, The India Red? Oh yes I certainly do. I thought I knew you I said. It then became clear that the match was between the India Red and the Malt Shovel PH.
I have not been in the Malt Shovel but I know it is very popular and I will make the effort. I have been to the India Red (formally Woody's Free House) in Abbey Steet next to the CO OP carpark and can say what a transformation, for a long time T/C PH's to a very classy Indian Resturante with fresh food cooked by the best of chefs. If you haven't been yet you don't know what you are missing. Very friendly staff, fine food and an ambience which would lead to to believe you are a million miles away from Nuneaton.
A very big thank you to you both and your teams for the money you have donated to our charities.

OMG-Less than 3 weeks to go!

I find myself again first apologising for the lack of updates, I'll blame it on work, annual leave and anyone else I can think of. Really not a lot has been happening of late and we have eased off on the fund raising, to be honest it was a relief when we reached our minimum goal.
We gave ourselves just over 4 months to raise the £9,990 with most people having between 12-18 months to raise tha same funds, at the outset I said to Neil(who shall be refered to from now on as "DB" it's a long story) "we will need to hit the ground running onn this one" That we did and the support we have recieved is enough to restore anyones faith in human nature. Bearing in mind we started this not long after Children in Need 2009, you still gave readily to support those less furtunate than ourselves.
We had a couple of months where we were both a little down due to a problem at work which saw DB lose his driving authorisation for a while. I will state that DB in my and 99.9% of our colleagues eyes had done nothing at all wrong, he was an advanced driver doing his job, something he was trained to do, and do very well. I will not go into any more detail, the matter is done and dusted, DB has been exonerated at the highest level.
Without doubt this did affect our fund raising, we expected to end up closer to 15K rather than 10K, it looks like we will crack 11K before we go.
Enough of that! we have less than 3 weeks to go now before we board the big white bird and head off for what I am sure will be an adventure of a lifetime, an experience that we are told by many will change our lives.
We have been watching the 2008 highlights on Men and Motors and are both fully aware that this will not be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. We are having a supper meeting tonight to sort out the final preparations, I feel the next 19 days will be a blur.
I went to Sonic last week and met with Liam Thornton who is putting together the Coms/head cams for us and confirmed that we can collect them on 21st Sept.
I have not heard from Long Way Down since Rob the producer passed us on to one of his charity organising staff, I have re emailed him and hope by tomorrow when he returns to his office that we can continue negotiations re a link to our site and the possibility of using some of our footage to encourage others to follow in our steps(we are just doing what Charlie and Ewan did) to raise money for children in SA.
In the days that lead up to our departure, I hope to update this blog daily. One date to remember is Sept 29th when we will be pulling the winning tickets out of a hat for our prize draw in the bar at Ambleside Sports Club. We would love you to join us for a send off so please try and come for an hour or so, I'm sure DB will bring his pipes along again.
If anyone would like to make a last minute contribution via our PayPal button, please do so, every penny is for charity, the more we make the better for the children. For those of you that have already done so, I thank you again.
Please keep on reading, I hope to keep you posted on this site from SA.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Car User LTD

Hi Folks,
Sorry we have been away for a while (well from the net) It's less than 2 months to go and we are on the last push to raise as much money as we can for Enduroafrica. Soon we will be having to start on the malaria tablets - Yuk!
We have still to get and practice with the Cams and Comms from Sonic and are still in negotiations with Big Earth to tray and raise our profile for the last 6 weeks or so. I am spending as much time as I can on an off road bike but due to circumstances beyond our control Rathers is going to have to get some last minute training in, I am hoping that using the XT660R's at work will sharpen my skills as they are not so forgiving as the smaller bikes, so when the time comes the CR230's will feel like a pushbike to ride(I wish)
Went to see Gary the MD of Car User today at 12 Alliance Close, Attleborough fields ind estate and he has donated a cheque for £100, I have not checked on the figures for a while but I reckon we should be over 10.5K.
We still have £200 en route from the sale of the Salmon fishing certificates.
I will try to keep the updates coming more often from now on, sorry again for the lack of news over the last 6 months.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Police Mag, The Billboard run article

The Police Magazine the Billboard has very kindly included us in issue 13 which can be downloaded as a pdf format from the net. Many thanks to the Editor Brett Tudor for having us in his Mag. I hope that we may just get one or two more donations to bump up our end total from the extra publicity.
You can read the link by checking out the website:

Thanks Brett, we will let you know how we get on,

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Guest Blogspot - Andrew

Hi folks,
Another Blog site you may be interested in is one of our fellow participants form accross the pond, please have a look at his blog, if enough people log on in one day then he will "Juice Google!" Wanna know what that means? have a look at his site and help him out.

Andrew lives in Bethesda MD with Elizabeth and their dogs, Katy and Adie, and cats, Mischa and Sasha
Good luck with the fund raising Andrew, from Bob and Neil, look forward to seeing you in SA

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Quiz Night sends us crashing through the 10K goal.

A massive thank you to all who turned up for our quiz night last night, a real good turnout with us having to seat some people outside on the patio. Lauren, Rachel and the girls put on a fantastic spread for us which was a very kind gesture, not a scrap of food was left.
Mike Farrell again helped us out a lot with setting up, and the bar staff, Rabbit, Tilly and Craig were all kept very busy, cheers boys. Again thank you to Higham Lane Leisure Association who let us use their excellent facilities for free.
A special thanks to two team members, Norman and Andrew Blount who helped us out by selling nearly 3 books of raffle tickets!!
A total of £522.00 sent us crashing through the 10K barrier to a healthy £10,381.06. As you can see I have wound the thermometer up to 15K (who knows?)
20 teams settled down to a noisy night which they seemed to enjoy, if you were there please let us know your thoughts on the comments section.
The results are as follows:
1. One wheel short of a cycle 80.5
2. Just you and me kid 73
2. the Evictees 73
3. Scrambled Eggheads 72.5
4. Quiz Tarrant 68
5. The nosey Parkers 67
6. Bourne again blondes 65.5
7. The singletons 63.5
8. Fudge cake 63
9. The Ruby's 60
10. No! 59.5
11. Drinkers not thinkers 59
11. Oops a daisy 59
12. Norfolk and hope 58.5
13. Norfolk and chance 56.5
14. Holbrooks wanderers 55
15.Weddington Wanderers 54
16. The best generation 53.5
17. Sick notes 53
18. If we win it's a fix 51.5
19. The team 50
20. The Shrug 47
Thank you all again for your support,

Saturday, 27 June 2009

So you think you're smart - Prove it!

Hi Folks, As promised I have eventually done the poster for the quiz night, Its our last major event planned(so far)so Please come and have some fun. Its Kicking off at The Ambleside club on Friday 10th of July at 7:30pm. £12 a team/table with a max of 6 per team. Bring your own food if you wish although we will put some nibbles on the tables.
Starting off with "heads or Tales"so one table will get a couple of bottles of wine to start the night off. Then into the quiz, 100 questions and a picture round. We have some great prizes for a raffle with the top prize being a Chimnea for the patio. Tables will be limited so it's first come first served I am afraid, give me or Rathers a call or email with your team name. Ideally we would like the £12 in advance to reserve your table, if you promise to come and let us down on the night I will hound you until you pay up, remember tables are limited so you would not only deprive someone of a good night out but would reduce the amount of money we can collect for the charities. The Race night was very enjoyable so don't miss out on this one. Hopefully we will see some of you there on the night.(Now including a buffet, thanks to Lauren and family.x)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Tech support - Jacksons of Arley

We would like to thank Jacksons of Arley, in particular Theresa and her daughter for supporting us with some great kit, inc Snugpak sleeping bags with built in mosquito nets, Deet spray, trek towels towels and multi purpose soap(What are they trying to say?) These of course will in due course need to go into the gratuity book at work. Neils band played some years ago for Theresa's mum who is also Scottish, the band was so good it made her cry and to this current date she still treasures the photograph which is displayed in her room at a local nursing home. As a thankyou Neils is going to surprise her by turning up in full dress and palying his pipes for her and the rest of the old folk at the home, I don't think any hearing aids will be needed for this performance.
Jacksons is situated on the industrial estate in Arley, its like an Aladins cave, you name it and they have got it, Very friendly long established family business. What a cracking bunch.
Thanks, Bob & Neil

Monday, 22 June 2009

HLLA - Ambleside Family Fun Day

A big thanks to everyone who bought some prize draw tickets yesterday at the Ambleside Family Fund Day, lots of fun was had by all. Yesterday as a result our total rose by £157.25.
Thanks to to the committee who allowed us to come along with a couple of bikes and our big TV to show everyone just what we were letting ourselves in for.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Mohican signs T shirt for the boys!

We are now the proud custodians of a T shirt signed by the last of the Mohicans, how did we manage that you ask, havn't they been away for quite a while now?
Well its like this, Majellas brother Shai works in a motorcycle dealership in the Emerald Isle. Last week, there he was minding his own business polishing all the shiney bits on the bikes in the store when in walks Mr Daniel Day Lewis(now minus the mohican hair cut) and wants to test ride a few motrcycles. The rides take place and Shai whilst Mr DD Lewis is still in the store phones sis as she is a bit of a movie buff, just to say you won't believe who we have in the shop. Majella quick as a flash sees an opportunity to raise some funds and says"Get him to sign something for the auction" Shai tells Mr DD Lewis all about Enduroafrica who willingly signs a T shirt. Thanks Mr Lewis for doing your bit to help us raise money for our 4 great charities. I will put a photo of the shirt on the site as soon as I can.
Quiz night is on July 10th, 6 per team, £12 a table. Money in advance will ensure you have a table reserved.Oh if you would like to help us by donating, please drop us a couple of quid via Paypal, all the money is for charity so come on cough up.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Please feel free to leave some comments

Hola Amigo's,
I am probably really going to regret this. At the bottom of each blog is a little envelope, if you click on it a box opens up and allows you to type in your comments, please feel free to add your thoughts to our blog, hopefully they will be supportive and constructive(Remember some younger people may read your comments before I get to moderate them so please nothing too rude)
Just trying to get some interaction going, would be good to hear from some other Enduroafrica participants too.
Back to the sun now, another hour and its San Miguel time again, Oh life is tough.
Hasta La Sunbed,

Friday, 5 June 2009

Hi folks, sorry there have not been any updates over the last week as both myself and Rathers are having a little R&R. The Big boy is in Bonnie Scotland and I am baking in the "Costa Packet" at my outlaws gaff until Weds next week.
However there is news to tell. Last week I had occasion to go to Sonic Communications to collect some bits and bobs for work, whilst I was there I was lucky enough for find the MD Mr David Bryan was present. The very nice receptionist very kindly asked him if he could spare us a minute, 5 minutes later we were in his office having a coffee.
Sonic Communications are an international company and for those that followed Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor on Long Way Down, Long Way Round and Race to Dakkar will know that Sonic Provided the head cams and comms for the pair.
After a chat about our trip I am over the moon to say that David readily agreed to loan us the same Head cams and Comms for our trip(Well perhaps not the same ones)
We will now be able to record events as they unfold, I hope they won't be too dramatic though, plus we can shout encouragement and no doubt abuse at each other as we ride through the Wild Coast, FANTASTIC.
It Gets better, I mentioned to David that I had emailed Long Way Down to see if we could scrounge any bit of unwanted kit that could be signed by either Charlie or Ewan that we could auction off to raise money for our charities but as yet had no reply.
David picked up the phone and had brief conversation with Liz before handing me the phone, "Who is it?" I whispered, "Assistant producer from Long Way Down" came David's reply.
After a chat with Liz and blaming Charlie and Ewan for getting us into this mess in the first place, Liz said that they would love to help us out and that the Producer himself would call me back in half an hour. He Did just that.
At the moment I won't say what the Producer has in mind, I leave you in suspense for the time being, but if it all comes off it will be really exciting and be a massive, MASSIVE boost to our morale and no doubt Enduroafrica itself.
As soon as I know, I'll put you out of your misery, for now I feel a cold one coming on so I will wish you all Hasta La Vista.

Friday, 29 May 2009

We know a man with lots of vans

Well summer looks like its here at last, Rathers and myself had a photoshoot yesterday morning at HQ for the new XT660R bikes that have come online, with it went 3 radio interviews(plus one the night before) hence I have been ignoring the radio all day just in case I am unlucky and hear myself or Rathers, never good hearing your own voice on radio, makes me cringe something rotten. Didn't tell Rathers until it was too late, when I did I saw the blood drain from his cheeks, wasn't that bad though was it mate? Seeing as we were in the area we popped down to Alcester to see a chap I met on a driving refresher course, Darren Brown from Broad lane leisure. Darren had pledged his support to Enduroafrica a couple of months ago and handed us a cheque for £150.00, Many thanks Darren, When the mortgage is paid off in a couple of years I will return the favour and come and see you about a motorhome. Darren has also offered to help us out with kit at trade price if a local camping store is unable to help us. Thanks again Darren.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Geothermal International Sponsor Enduroafrica

We went to Earlsdon yesterday afternoon to see Mr Brian Davidson again, MD of a fast growing 'green' company that have just received an award from Mr Richard Branson for being the fastest growing enviromentally friendly company in the UK.
This time it was a photo shoot and to receive a cheque for £1500.00 which is a hefty boost to our fund raising, putting us well within sight of our target.
Geothermal will also be providing us with some shirts, badges and stickers for our helmets/bikes. The companies PR machine were there to conduct the photo shoot(hope to get a picture of Mr Davidson presenting the cheque to Rathers and put it on here) and we are told that the story will be published in numerous local papers plus maybe the Times.
We would like to thank Brian and the board of directors for their sponsorship and generosity.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Draughty in here isn't it

Race night all done and dusted, Thanks to Mike Farrell who compared the evening and supplied all the techie stuff plus the wine and spirits, without Mike it wouldn't have happened.
We were disappointed that so few of our colleagues came to support us on the night but those that did come I think had an enjoyable night and had one or two laughs. However the overall support was excellent and we raised just short of £700, half of which was on bets taken, Thank you everyone that came and either bought horses or sponsored the races.
I have to say that the kilt was quite comfortable and ultimately not too draughty, After a few Magners Rathers looked at me with an evil glint in his eye and said, "They are either coming off or I'm gonna take em off for you" descretion being the better part of valor and all that malarky I removed my Mr Rude(mister man) boxers and presented them to the audience at which point my wife Diane was probably thinking about asking Majella to represent her in the divorce proceedings.
Again, we thank you all for making it a successful and enjoyable evening.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Robert where's your troosers

Well two days to go until the Race Night, horse owners can expect a bottle of spirits if their nag wins, a bottle of wine if it comes second and a box of chocolates if it comes 3rd. I believe Rathers is going to pipe in the first race in full piper bib and tucker, supported by someone else in a skirt..............Me. Yes for a laugh I am going to sport a kilt too, those that saw my knobbly knees at the football match will know that it won't be a pretty site, at all. The question is will I or won't I be wearing any under crackers? Well I'm not a Scott so my good lady tells me I will be.

The important thing now for Sunday is not really how much money we will raise, we just want it to be a success and for every one to have a good time.

We have had a good week, having secured a chimnea from Melbicks garden centre for Raffle or auction, possible sponsorship from a local camping and caravan outlet and on Wednesday I had a call on my mobile from a very nice lady representing a trust fund that had been sent our mission statement by Arron Clarke(My youngest daughter Lucy's boyfriend who is a West Mids Bobby) They had read the document and decided that they would support us with a donation of £500.

I would like to thank them and the MD of the major company who is himself a celebrity and household name but they declined any publicity, It's not Mr Sugar but someone in the same league. If you are reading this, we would like to thank you very much for your support, we would also like to thank Arron and his mum Steph who is an employee of Mr X, who forwarded the letter to him.

We hope to see you on Sunday folks, until then Ta Ta for now.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

British Superbike Champion John Reynolds

Arrived this morning at Gaydon for the bike safety day, great event with lots to see and do, Bikesafe rideouts were a real hit as usual with Rospa, IAM and Police riders taking members of the motorcycling public out and giving them constructive feed back on their riding skills.
The prize draw tickets arrived in time so we set up our stall with a 42" screen showing Enduroafrica highlights, the big banner behind us and a couple of flasks of coffee.
The first tickets we sold were to John Reynolds, pictured left who is 3 times British Superbike Champion who put his hand in his pocket and started us off by having a fivers worth. Cheers John, and good luck for your future races.
At the end of the day we had collected £380.00 Thanks to all of you that have bought tickets and Tash who donated £15 of it, have a nice holiday.
Next event is the Race night on Sunday 17th May at the Ambleside club.
Bob & Neil

Friday, 8 May 2009

Cannon Intersport

Went to the 25th anniversary meal last week at the Ambleside and met one of Bozzy's mates Malc Cannon who owns Cannon Intersport in Stratford St Nuneaton and his wife Ann. Lovely couple, Ann does a lot for charity and sponsors a child in Sierra Leone, has abseiled down a cliff and the other year jumped out of an aeroplane. During the deal a mutual sponsorship deal occurred, I went to see Malc today and he has agreed to get us a couple of Enduro shirts, hopefully with Cannon Intersport logo and enduroafrica 2009 on the back with the Ambleside club badge on the front.
Malc thank you very much for supporting us, and Ann Keep up the excellent work with the fundraising, Myself and my wife Diane may also be looking into the sponsor a child scene in the future.
Thank you,
Bob and Neil

The Ambleside Club

Since we have lived here, the little club across the road has grown and grown, those of you who have had the pleasure of a party there, been to either one of the annual events such as New Years Eve, Valentines night, a sportsman's evening or have just popped in for a drink will know what a gem the club is for the local community.
I remember some 17 years back standing at the bar with rain being caught in a bucket on the floor behind me, at that time the club opened on a very ad hoc basis and the facilities were basic.
Now it boasts a Sportsman's bar, a very nice main function room, a new very well equipped function room extension, changing rooms a plenty, kitchen(still being equipped) 3 bars. A sun terrace and a face lifted car park with a drop off point for taxi's, Wedding cars etc. Its the ideal venue and is very well used, hence the need for the extra room.
They have a children's football area, Five a side/netball/tennis court, Bowling green and clubhouse. A separate netball court, cricket nets, cricket and football pitch, its a hive of activity and very well run.
The committee all work very hard to make the club what it is today but two men, who I am proud to have as friends stand out.
John Bosworth the Chairman, can't fish for toffee and jinx's my fishing(only joking mate) has been the driving force behind the ever evolving facility, I don't think a lot of people realise just how hard he works so other people can have fun, It's taken its toll in so far as he is only 45 but was offered a pensioner rate the other year when we went fishing to Monks Pool in Bulkington(now I know he is going to batter me)
No really he is a great bloke and I am really pleased to have him as a mate. John has also paid for the prize draw tickets to be printed, not as I previously though that we had been sponsored by the printers, I had to weedle this out of his as he is so modest. Cheers John, next time we go fishing I promise I'll let you win.
The other chap who works very hard indeed is Mikey Farrell, the club secretary (Potter), always willing to help and is the driving force behind the bar, only ever done one thing wrong in my eyes and that was taking the Stella off draught and putting Premier on its place(we all make mistakes said the hedgehog climbing off the yard brush) Mike has very kindly agreed to run our Race night next week and has put me right on the admin side of things(thanks for the templates mate) at his own expense he is also hiring in top notch DVD's so its a professional jobby. Mike has also very generously donated the bottles for the Horse owners(prizes for 1st, 2nd and maybe 3rd winning owners on each race) Another man I am proud to have as a friend.
All in all the club are being very good to us and I wish to thank them publicly, we have had free hire of the rooms and facilities too.
A Massive thank you then is in order to you both, the committee, the bar staff and all the regulars.
Bob and Neil

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Salmon fishing for two

Check out this great day out, have two of these, first is on ebay and the second I may take to the Chief Constables Ball in Solihull, but I will ask Majella about that one.
The below link will take you to the ebay web page, I cocked the original link up yesterday but we won't go into that............

Match of the Day(Continued)

Well the big day came and went(big day for some of us as we had not played football for some time!) I think I played centre back or something like that and had the task of marking CH Insp Ade Knight(Gripper) Rathers played a bit to my right and more to the front(told you I was a football numpty), the game itself was a very close run thing, by half time it was still 0 - 0.
As you can see I wanted to play in my big boots but i) I cant run in them, ii) I would have killed someone if they got in the way of the swinging mass of leather and metal and iii) I kicked a ball in them and nearly bust it!
The second half we lost our goal keeper as he was off to watch a proper match, I was nominated to stand between the wicketts(is that what they are called?) and let a goal in after about 10 minutes of play, I thought those magic gloves they gave me would do all the work, how am I supposed to know that you still have to move your arms! I also tried to pick up a passback(oops)
Rathers decided he should go in goal and I was substituted and spent the rest of the game on the sidelines, which was a blessing as the Gripper had stood on the top of my right foot which was now growing in size inside my borrowed boots(cheers Mick Robertson, the Geordie Magott)
The game ended 1 - 0 to Nuneaton Justice Centre and was close with us nearly equalising a couple of times(1 goal dis allowed as someone was off side)
Sadly it wasn't a great turn out from Ops, most of our team comprised of "Ringers". A big thanks to Marky Rowlatt and Andrew Marchi for making it happen, sorting the teams, the rules and the nets. A charity shield was donated by Nuneaton Trophies and Awards, plus some very nice medals for both teams, Thanks chaps.
An apres match drink and presentation followed in the bar of the Ambleside club(Thanks for the use of the changing rooms Mike) A raffle for a nice bottle of bubbly and a signed Chelsea football, some donations from players and Rathers getting his pipes out and playing for the Bowls club in the next room generated just under £100 towards our charities.
Next on the agenda is the Race night, Please come to that one if you can.
Rathers will be at the Bikesafe Launch on Saturday but unless I can get anyone else to do it I will be at the Bedworth Civic hall with an off road bike for a community day.
Thanks again all for your support yesterday,
Bob & Neil

Match of the Day!