Day 8 – Air lifted
Today was our “rest day”, with “only” 60 miles to cycle, and good weather forecast. But we had to catch a ferry to Arran at 9:15, 20 miles from the travel lodge, and it was raining hard. The boys made it on time and we had breakfast on the ferry, drying shoes off with a hair drier!
Spectacular views from the ferry as we crossed, leaving the rain behind, the boys all warmed up and got a good fry-up inside them. 15m round the island then 25 the other side, a day to enjoy!
We met the boys on top of the one big hill climb chatting with some other cyclists doing LEJOG the other way. The boys set off down the hill and we followed a minute or so behind. Coming round a corner we could see cars stopped and two of our boys were down, ran to the scene with the medical bag to find them both talking but in pain. Within minutes two separate doctors “happened” to appear, an ambulance followed soon after and two local doctors.
I went in the doctors car with John, my oldest friend and cycling buddy from childhood, seemed fitting that the two of us should end up in A&E after all the crashes we’ve had over the years! He was discharged with no serious injuries, just bruising, and promptly got back on his bike and cycled the rest of the day! Hero!
The other rider, jobby, I’m pleased to say escaped major injury as well, but his back pain was bad so he was airlifted to the mainland by the royal navy, admitted to hospital overnight and is flying home tomorrow. Looks like I’ll have some company when I finish next year, he even joked about it when he was on the ground, lots of banter with the boys, he’s a top lad! The dream’s not over, it’s just on pause.
We had help from the ambulance, doctors, police, royal navy, coastguard, royal marines, the public, and an amazing lady from the Arran distillery who took the injured guys bikes and chased us down with a helmet that got left behind. So much support and kindness from the British public! Teamwork makes the dream work!
The boys finished the ride carefully, far later than anticipated, and we rounded the day off with a much needed curry and a toast to our fallen comrade, jobby wood.
He’s riding for cancer research, his page is http://www.justgiving.com/WOODY-LE2JOG