Friday, 7 September 2012

Day 5 And On!

6 More Gold Medals on day 8 from our amazing  Paralympic GB Team. 32 Gold Medals as of 2.00pm on day 9, you are all simply inspirational!

Just when I thought I was getting the better of all our local Gold Post Boxes they did it again but I’m pleased to say we have another 4 locally and the Gold Medals just keep coming! I’m so pleased Sarah Storey lives so close with her winning 4 Gold medals and reaching a total of 11 Gold Medals. Dame Sarah Storey come on down. Remember you read it here first.

So with our Paralympic Team passing the medal tally in style on just day 8 I’ve got my work cut out big time. Bring it on I say, bring it on! 

Thursday 6th September - Day 5                               Daily Mileage 316 Miles – Total 933

Halifax. Well the plan today was to attend an Iron Butt Association (IBA UK)  Ride to Eat at Sutton Bank Visitors Centre near Thirsk in North Yorkshire and “Bag” another 4 Gold Post Boxes on the way of course.

Heading out at 9.00am after sorting Lilie Rose out and taking Ben to school on Mr T. (note to self, do not park Mr T on the drive before Ben has left for school) and so a quick nip up the road to drop Ben off at the school gate. Back home to change short sleeve t-shirt for long as it was still a bit nippy and say my fair wells to Jeannie my poor long suffering “Bike Widow” wife. I was off over the tops past the White House pub, through Rippondon and Sowerby Bridge on the back road to Halifax town centre.

Finding the Gold Post Box took no time at all thanks to the Gold Post Box Finder site and the  Wikipedia site. As soon as I’d taken my picture an elderly couple arrived to take a photo and asked what I was up to. 20 minutes later and a full in depth “one sided” discussion about the commemorative Gold Medal Stamp Collections. Being printed mainly in Preston with only three sheets being printed somewhere else………. I just managed to get away before losing the will to live. Stamp collectors’, who’d have em? Only joking, it was lovely  to hear them so animated about the whole Olympic theme.

Wesley Place Halifax
Hannah Cockroft Gold Medal Athletics: Women's 100m - T34

Horsforth Leeds. Next I headed up to Horsforth to take get the photo. The ride was a quick 14 mile scoot around the edge of Bradford. Trying to make sure I didn’t get “T-Boned” again by an impatient driver, ulike the last time I went down that road. I wasted no time and quickly parked up to take the photo.

“Oh love that’s a big bike” came the faint voice from behind me.

“It has to be to stop all these drivers knocking me off” I replied.

“It’s so dangerous out there, you be careful” she said looking at Mr T

“It wouldn’t be if they just banned cars from the roads” I replied without even thinking what I was saying as my mind was already thinking about Leeds City Centre, not my favourite place.

“You know that’s a really good idea, I’d not thought of  it like that before, bye now”  and with that she tootled off down the street.

By the time I was back on Mr T I’d got quite a crowd looking at me out of the post office so I just gave them a wave before rolling back onto the road backwards. I chortled as they all waved back, priceless!

Heading down Featherbank lane I couldn’t believe it when a “White van man” drove straight at me in the middle of the road on his mobile, if you’re reading this (which I doubt) you’re a PLANK!

New Road Side Horsforth Leeds
Alistair Brownlee Gold medal Men's Triathlon

Leeds. City centre 4.8 miles of clear roads, I was shocked and to spot the two Gold Post Boxes right at the side of a Motorbike Parking Bay was brilliant. Parking up in front of the boxes I got my photo and pulled back onto the road to check where next. Plotting in Sutton Bank Visitors Centre via Hull came out at arrival time 1.15pm too late for the Ride to Eat meeting at 1.00pm, or so I thought.

Cookridge Street Leeds
Nicola Adams Gold medal Women's Boxing Fly Weight

Stockton-on-Tees. Plotting in Sutton Bank via Ingleby Barnwick, arrival time 12.35pm perfect for the 1.00pm meeting. Decision made it was off up the A1 and on up the A19 to a new build estate in the middle of nowhere. Still the lonely Gold Post Box was so easy to find I just pulled up and took the photo. There was just nothing there at all however it stands out proud as you like. Photo taken it was off back down the A19 to the visitors centre to meet up with the IBA UK guys.

Ingleby Barwick/Apsley Way Stockton-on-Tees
Katherine Copeland Gold medal Women's Lightweight Double Sculls Rowing

I gave Dave a little stick when he came in at 1.45 for being late!

“2.00pm Raymondo, and you a man of detail”

Whoops, just goes to show what mixing rides up does to you train of thought. Sorry David.

IBA UK Septenber 2012 RTE
Sutton Bank Visitors Centre

That is one very sexy
Harley Davidson you have there David.

Hull. After a good couple of hours chatting and briefing my replacement on the IBA UK Verifiers roll it was time to head down to Hull for my final Gold Post Box of the day. The ride down through some of North Yorkshires most beautiful countryside was simply breath taking. The roads are fantastic, the scenery sublime. If you get chance to head through North York Mores National Park my advice grasp it with both hands you will not be disappointed. High Street, Cote Lane,  Linkfoot Lane the A170 is amazing. Through town with names like Bedlam, Wilton, Sinnington Cliff, Wrelton, the more well know Pickering then Beverly the names just bring back great memories of a fantastic country ride. I’ve got to mention my favourite village name on the route though, Wetwag just cracked me up.

Arriving 4 miles out of Hull the traffic built up and it was a real shlep to find the Gold Post Box but after what felt  like hours but in fact was just 35 minutes I parked up and took the photo. So with Hull boxed off and it still only being 4.35pm what do you do? Well I did no more and plumbed in Sheffield, why not? It needs visiting.

Hessle Road Hull
Luke Campbell Gold medal Men’s Boxing Bantam Weight

Sheffield. Out of Hull I was on the M62 and within what felt like minutes I was on the M18 which took me straight into Sheffield City centre past one of the worst tail backs from a 4 car pileup I’ve ever had the miss-fortune to witness. The only saving grace was that it was on the outbound lane and so the run into the city centre was painless. Now I’ve got history with Sheffield, not being allowed into night clubs as a 19 year old from Chesterfield without lying and saying I came from Dronfield! Getting hit in the face with a baseball bat as I came out of the toilets in the “Hole in the road” pubic loos pretty much finished Sheffield as a “place to visit” for me. Mind that was back in the early 1980’s so water under the bridge as they say. Sadly some of the old pubs and clubs are still standing, just how I've no idea but they are. Seeing them sent a shiver down my spine, I wanted this visit to be short and sweet, luckly it was.

I found the Gold Post Box  tucked up against a wall and behind a huge lamppost. I squeezed Mr T  inbetween and was just about to take the photo when a young couple came and squeezed in between Mr T and the Gold Post Box. I offered to move Mr T but they were happy to get there picture and even took one of me at the side of the box. Many thanks indeed to you both. I bet you regret asking me what I was up to and having the dubious task of viewing my ever growing collection of pictures. Sorry about that I do tend to get a little animated to say the least when asked “What are you doing” and the burning question “Why”?

The reason I’m visiting ALL the Olympic Commemorative Gold Post Boxes are three fold

1)      If all of Team GB and  Paralympic GB competitors can put in hours upon hours of training to achiev such amazing results, then the least I can do to honour them, in my own way, is to take the time and energy to visit their Gold Post Boxes.

2)      I just love riding and what better reason / excuse is there to visit each and every corner of our fair Great British Isles

3)      Finally, I hit the Big 5 - O in a few weeks’ time so what better way to commemorate hitting the grand age of 50 year young.

So here’s a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Team GB and Paralympic GB for setting me up with a perfect 50th Challenge Ride. Not forgetting Bunnyman Martyn for the original idea, you’re a star thank you to.

Posted: 03 August 2012 at 4:40pm | IP Logged

Apparently a post box is being painted gold in the home
town of each Team GB gold medal winner.
Only staying gold for 6 months, but visiting them all
should make an interesting ride.

City Hall Sheffield
Jessica Ennis Gold medal Women’s Heptathlon

Chapel-en-le-Frith. Why not I thought as I looked at the route back to Rochdale and with that I was off out of Sheffield and heading through my home county of Derbyshire heading to my final destination of the day, Chapel-en-le-Frith, dubbed "The Capital of the Peak District".

Now if I say Derbyshire is in my opinion the most beautiful county in the whole of the UK I am not exaggerating one bit. The roads are stunning, if not a little restricted nowadays.  The ride along the A57 into our very own Garden of Eden, The Derbyshire Peak District which is nothing short of spectacular, sorry Yorkshire but I am proud to be a Derbyshire Lad born and bred. Once your past the city limits your into the most lush green countryside in the whole of the Britsh Isles, I love it.

Heading out of Sheffield on Eccesall Road I was so rining along Hathersage Road one of my favourite road in the peak district. Taking detours to take in the whole of the A6187 Through Hathersage, Hope Valley onto Castleton Road, past Speedwell Caverns and doing a “dog leg” turn to ride up and through Winnats Pass.

Arriving in Chapel-en-le-Frith, The Gold Post Box was easily spotted on the left hand side with a very convenient drive way to park on. A quick photo and a check of my mobile told me I’d been out a little too long.

“Can we expect you back sometime today” was the text from Jeannie.

“On my way ETA 7.15” and with that I was off home, happy and content with my days efforts.

Market Street Chapel-en-le-Firth
Anthony Kappes Gold Medal Cycling Track: Men's Individual B Sprint

All in all a great days ride which was made so much better with having the IBA UK RTE slap bang in the middle. Checking the GoldPost Box Finder site flagged up that the Royal Mail folks had been busy painting another 4 local to us and with the medals coming in thick and fast I’m going to take a break until the games are over and I can plot all the remaining and new Gold Post Boxes.

Day Five - 7 Gold Post Boxes

So until the next time this  is the Wandering Walton’s signing off…………….

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