The Go Trek – Week Two

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I’m writing this blog from Schaijk, a town South of Utrecht in Holland.  It’s seems hard to believe that just a week ago we had reached our Southern most destination in the UK and were heading North again towards Harwich.

After Ditchling Beacon (the third highest point on the South Downs) Dave and I thought the rolling hills were pretty much over for England – how wrong we were!

Dave and I are really getting into shape now!
Dave and I are really getting into shape now!

We departed Brighton pier with our entourage – Ali B on her bike and for a short while Chris on his moped.  Then we hit hills, lots of them.  The North Downs are most definitely not flat!  We stopped for a pretty lengthy lunch consisting of delicious sandwiches (thank you Loobey), Chocolate Digestives (thank you Super Cycling Man) and Lindt chocolate (thank you Ali B)!  Then we made our way to Tonbridge where the sun was shining and people had been out mowing their lawns – it felt like a typical British summer’s afternoon. We spent the night at Dave’s cousin’s house and for the first time we did some stretching and ‘rolling’ which felt good!

Rolling on the Fit Bar
Rolling on the Fit Bar

Dave’s aunty called round and I liked her very much, she is a whirlwind of energy and sadly didn’t stay long – although long enough to tell us we were both mad!  Dave’s cousin has two small children, Stella (age3) got out her book called ‘a Squash and a Squeeze’ and wondered if Dave’s name was actually Squeeze!  Funny as only the night before, having never seen or heard of this book, my god-daughter Flo had chosen the very same one for her bedtime story.

After a grand feast we slept really well and being so organized, left the next morning bang on time! I then realised that I’d left my gloves in the house – just as Dave had shut the latched door. Luckily, a helpful neighbour had a ladder and I was able to retrieve my gloves!

Just climbing through a window - as you do!
Just climbing through a window – as you do!

More hills and a few miles later we were met by fellow ElliptiGo’er Chris, who works at the Cyclopark in Gravesend – our destination for the evenings test ride and presentation. Having experienced some serious hill ascents the joy of the descents came and with the wind behind us we were ecstatic to hit a record time for a five mile distance of 17 minutes and 14 seconds!

Here’s a little clip just after we made our record – Punkt – The Go Trek 

The Cyclopark was really good fun, lots of people who have never been on an ElliptiGo came and tried them out – I think Deb’s was the most delighted!

Deb's first time on an ElliptiGO
Deb’s first time on an ElliptiGO

Thanks to the staff at Cyclopark we had a great evening and a fun presentation before we hit the road for a short trip to stay with a friend’s in-laws, who stayed up until 11pm and fed us the most delicious dinner.  Thank you Jo!

The next morning whilst packing our trailers we were presented with a cake – IDEAL – perfect snack food!  After a short ferry crossing (Gravesend to Tilbury) we were joined by Andy, a good friend of mine who I’d met when I was 18 – he had been a guest in the chalet I ran in France!  We soon stopped for a cup of tea to accompany our cake.

Tea and Cake!
Tea and Cake!

Another pretty good day, I think we had few minutes rain but that was soon forgotten when we arrived at our night stop – Andy’s place wasn’t too shabby.

Humble lodgings for the night!
Humble lodgings for the night!

Andy’s place is actually New Hall School in Chelmsford. We had school dinner in the canteen, visited the design & technology centre for some trailer maintenance and then did a presentation for some of the students. The night ended with a very splendid hot chocolate and Andrea exclaiming that “ElliptiGo’s are my future!”

School Dinner!
School Dinner!
A bit of Gaffa tape needed!
A bit of Gaffa tape needed!
Presentation at New Hall School
Presentation at New Hall School

When Dave said we were being joined by some mates for our final day in the UK I wasn’t expecting anyone to turn up on a BMX!

Ben waving on his BMX!!
Ben waving on his BMX!!

Ben did though, and he kept up!  We were also joined by the Mississippi Challenge 2013 boys.  Probably my favourite part of the day was this interview we did at Colchester castle…  Punkt – The Go Trek

We made it to Harwich in plenty of time for the ferry so Dave and I headed for Morrison’s to buy supplies and dinner. Amazingly, the Manager saw us in our Go Trek t-shirts and asked about what we were doing – he then said dinner was on him and we could get whatever we liked from the cafe!

I still can’t quite believe it now.

Lovely Morrison's manager!
Lovely Morrison’s manager!

The ferry was MASSIVE. We tucked our ElliptiGo’s into a corner of the lower car deck and made for our cabin. 443 miles ElliptiGo’d in the UK and now we were Holland bound!

ElliptiGo's on the ferry
ElliptiGo’s on the ferry

It wasn’t the best wake-up call I’ve ever experienced, ‘don’t worry be happy’ bellowing out of the speaker in the ceiling of the cabin followed by very loud announcements every 10mins that breakfast was being served on the upper deck. They started at 6 am and we weren’t even due to dock until 7.45am!

After the incredible weather we had in the UK I was expecting even more sunshine and warmth, instead we were greeted by grey clouds and rain.  It wasn’t all bad though – Ned, a friend of Dave’s, had joined us on the ferry and was accompanying us for the day on his Whike!  A very cool wind surf/bike machine… cool until the chain snapped and Ned needed a tow.

ElliptiGo towing a Whike!
ElliptiGo towing a Whike!

Chris and John, two Dutch guys had met us off the ferry and were escorting us to Rotterdam Central Park. John towed the Whike and Chris arranged a mid-morning tea stop at his friend’s hotel which was very lovely and a welcome break form the rain. Next stop was the park and on our arrival I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I saw Jan! He was the guy we’d met just outside Leicester last week and had come to see us – bearing gifts of Nutella and chocolate.

We love this man!

Jan the chocolate fairy!
Jan the chocolate fairy!

We also met Prince Pieter Christiaan. He came to our presentation at the running club and presented us with some Go Trek ElliptiGo underwear which was pretty cool. It’s not every day that one gets knickers from a Prince!

Five hours later we’d arrived just south of Amsterdam – it had been our longest day and we were tired! Arnoud, a Dutch ElliptiGO champion and all round lovely guy, had accompanied us. I was pretty excited about where we stayed. Punkt – Hotel Fletcher

Sunday was our rest day – apparently! We had been entered into a 45km race and we made the start but not much further – preferring the breakfast and hot drink option instead and that afternoon we had the chance to see Ned again and test ride the Whikes for ourselves. Brilliant FUN!

Loving the Whike!
Loving the Whike!

The start of this week has been busy and fortunately more chocolate has found its way to us – thank you Fritz!  We’re getting through the miles and have already completed over 600!

The flatness of Holland combined with the cycle paths here makes for easier ElliptiGo’ing, which has been a welcome change – Dave and I although feeling good are a little tired!

Our total donations for Coppafeel are now at £1,164.36.  Thank you to everyone who has and is supporting us.

We are having fun using Punkt – an interactive map where we are showing photos and short video clips as we go.  See The Go Trek Punkt Map Here.

We are now selling The GoTrek t-shirts via the ‘Say Yes More’ website so don’t forget to get your-self one before they all disappear!

To buy a GoTrek t-shirt click this link.  Each sale supports Coppafeel.

 

Say Yes More Go Trek t-shirts
Say Yes More Go Trek t-shirts