It’s nearly all over, at least for most !
Two Cranks and the Chain Gang (and I will be glad when I no longer need to type all these unnecessarily long team names!) arrived promptly in J O’G yesterday. The first across the line quite comfortably, which illustrates how little I know about biking. They certainly won the biking race and while on the road produced a very classy performance of Ray Davies’s ‘Sunny Afternoon’ as part of the ‘Got Talent’ competition laid on by Tocky Fetherston-Dilke, captain of the QuaRunTeam, in an endeavour to slow the front runners up while they caught up.
Summer Time in Lockdown
By The Chain Gang
This covid’s taken all my fun Keeps me in my Lockdown home Stuck here on a sunny afternoon. I can’t go in my car To see my friends who live too far All I’ve got’s this sunny afternoon Chorus 1 Save me save me from this dread disease Cyclin’ for Parkinson’s Slowin my obesity I have to live my life so quietly Live this life in solitary Locked down on a sunny afternoon It’s the summer time, when I ride my bike, it’s the summer time. Verse 2 Can’t even go a-round to play Music with my mates all day Humming songs in loneliness and boredom I have to pass the time Slurping on my ice cold wine Locked down on this sunny afternoon Chorus 2. Help me, help me, help me pass the day, Too many reasons why I have to stay I have to live my life so quietly Live this life obediently Stuck here on this sunny afternoon. In the summer time, I wanna ride my bike , in the summertime. Chorus Save me, save me from this dread disease, Cycling for Carers is knackering my knees And I want to live more pleasantly Returning to normality Lazing on a sunny afternoon….. In the summer time x 4 When’s it gonna end?
Interestingly, and in a very sportsmanlike way, The Carefree Wheelers ‘stood back’ and left just 6 miles to complete today coming a creditable second.
For the Walkers, the competition became intense and ended in dramatic fashion.
The story goes like this. The Two legged Tortoises faltered after a record breaking 103 mile journey on Sunday posting only 62 miles for what turned out to be the penultimate day. They have had a great run with Ben and Fay covering 144 miles and 132 miles respectively over the two and half weeks but as I write they have still to finish with Jenny still out on the golf course!
The Walky Talkies have remained under the radar throughout and like moles appearing at the end of a run have popped up unexpectedly at the finishing line. The Human Hares likewise have played a low but very effective and economical profile using only 966 miles actually done to complete the course.
Escargatoire like the Two Legged Tortoises (gosh I am getting tired of these long names) are still out there. Michael Gurney (182 miles) has put in some huge mileages supported by his septuagenarian team mate (and I mention that because he has asked for no handicap) Martin Forsyth (152 miles). We await their imminent arrival.
Tea Bag Stable arrived in second place at John O’Groats. They left themselves about 32 miles to do this morning after the captain Tom Bagge had walked 27 miles the day before bringing his total for the journey to a stonking 196 miles. Talk about leadership and most of it was picking litter on the way. Never has the A6 and the A9 been so devoid of detritus! Erika Mott has climbed a mountain or three and we suspect she wins the elevation prize although no doubt Hadden Paton will have something to say about Dorset topography.
Still at the back and protecting our rears are Qua Run Team who insist they are merely self-isolating and self- distancing. Tocky their leader supported by Will Richmond and their mascot and buggy champion Willoughby are keeping this show on the road – just . And finally keeping us all secure and making sure there are no casualties are our very own PC Plodders who are determined to make it on their own refusing all offers of extra mileages and alternating night duties with day walking and day duties with night walking. Heroes each and every one of them. For an English police officer to negotiate his way over the border into Sotland is also no mean feat.
And talking of feet..
we now come to the climax of the Challenge. Chipembere journeying for two wonderful charitable causes in Zimbabwe failed to record their complete mileage for the penultimate day, having recorded a good 82 miles on Sunday.
Their captain had to plead with the judges to be permitted to record an extra 8 miles which his lovely daughter Polly had put in on Monday pushing a pram, such is the competitive spirit of these H-P girls.
He said his life in lockdown would not be worth living if she found out. Adding these 8 miles would leave them only 3 miles to finish today. In their mischievous wisdom the judge(s) said this would be allowed if he personally covered the last 3 miles in bare feet and this had to be on video to deliver good footage (Pun 1). Late last night here then followed a stream of appalling puns ..requiring great effoot …what a feat…will there be trouble afoot, etc. Never one to avoid such a challenge with son Harry , Nyge set off at 2 minutes past midnight and the video FOOTage tells all.
What a classic end to their journey…So well done to every one for taking part …
But it’s not all over…
WE MUST and WE WILL stay with it to be there to welcome the Plodders even if it takes a week and like Sir Tom we will continue to applaud these members of the Norfolk Constabulary to the very end! They are the Champions . they are the Champions….!
From the Stewards’ Box
By Christopher Lloyd Owen
Well, what can I say? An idler on the rails throughout, binos to hand, vermouth in hand, this whole dotty saga has been enormous fun, and I’ve laughed my way through a truly International Lockup Challenge Cup.
There will be no stewards’ enquiry because
- Anna, the other Steward, was on night shifts again.
- No notice of any infringement has been given by any Team Captain, Owner, Trainer, Jump Judge, Jockey, Course Official, or Policeman. As with all Cummings and Goings we‘re not inclined to pursue anything much either.
- The photofinish camera got the wrong day. The food and bubbly stall was set up by that seat on the wall. And we don’t recognise the lurkers by the finishing post.
- I think I missed the finish as I breezed by various watering holes including the Chief Steward in the old MG on break-out day. He proceeded successfully to pour sufficient sauce down me by way of bribing me to stay silent. Dozing in a corner, I didn’t notice the Chain Gang arriving, helping themselves to champagne, and making their own bacon butty.
- Two Cranks and a Chain Gang sledging from the rails despite several yellow cards
- Baggel auctioning herself off to QuaRunTeam
- Somebody tying their iPhone to a dog
- (Somebody tying their iPhone to a drone was a trick missed … ) (… or maybe not?)
- Use of an exercise bike taking virtuality one pedal too far
- Bin Bag (Tea Bag) in a grump with Bookie’s Bag (Wind Bag, Gruppenfuhrer etc) over Rest Day
- Escargatoire trying to add tennis court miles to pedestrian miles
- Chipembere with forty four members, also using child labour
The Chain Gang Gig on Rest Day – yay! – and Zola Budd-Paton’s feet of endurance to make the finish. No mean feet that. (The Stewards are divided on Jum and Tor’s “Hev yer gotta loit, boi”: one cringed, the other said cute.)
And we’ll keep the champagne on ice and bacon on the grill for everybody, including the remarkable PC Plodders.
Result? Not quite sure what the Dictator has in mind yet. And he’s lost the Challenge Cup anyway. Wait for the Zoom-in on the Winner’s Enclosure is what I suggest …
BUT – fund-raising target SMASHED! Thousands raised for Norfolk Carers, Imire, Zane and others. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
Well done everybody – we’ve loved it, and admired your grit and determination from the plains of Africa through the Alps to England and beyond. Special thanks to Anna who has worked tirelessly through the small hours at editing, design and production, as well as Social Media which is something we don’t really understand.
Finally. BRAVO JUM AND THANK YOU!