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Week 3

It’s now the end of week 3 and I’m really happy with how it’s going

Monday Feb 15 (Day 15)

  • Morning: 11 straight miles. Feeling good.
  • Afternoon: 9 miles. Coccyx hell on a handcart

I was just over half way. I remember previous long distance runs across London and Paris where they ring a bell at the half way mark. I usually wanted to give up and to hell with what I was raising money for.

This time I’m rather more involved at Scope and I’m getting firsthand storytelling from disabled people having it a hundred times more tough than me, so onwards!

The sore bits are very sore, but my body is starting to change shape – arms and legs in particular. So I am a god after all – an ancient god, somewhere between Apollo, god of music and poetry, and Bacchus, god of wine, sensual pleasure and truth.

Tuesday 16 Feb (Day 16)

  • Morning: a rather hot 10 miles  – thank god I took Steve’s advice and bought big tubs of rubbing gel – it really is called Swerve! Go figure.
  • Evening: a serene 9 miles started with a tune on the guitar to celebrate new life. Our sixth grandchild Blake was born I think on Valentine’s day in Sweden, so I celebrated with a quick rendition of ‘Here comes The Sun’ to remind mum and dad of their wedding day, where I played that song as they walked – or rather ran – down the aisle. Babies are wonderful and they bring optimism in these dark days.

Wednesday Feb 17th (Day 17)

  • Morning: 10 miles in warm weather and lots of painkillers!

The place where the drainage tube was for all that time – right hand side under the ribs – has been giving me grief since the first week.

I decided to take Chris’ advice – Chris does these ghastly seven deserts marathon things and comes home with foot rot. He said ‘don’t be a hero Rob, take painkillers; we all do’. Broke the 150miles to go barrier. Good feeling.

Afternoon: 10 miles

Changed ties early as I hit Cambridge after 1 mile. Will wear the light blue again tomorrow.

I waved at my old college Queens’, where I spent 3 great years and met many people still my friends and they have supported me this month on the challenge. Lovely. Loyalty is King. This Schwinn bike trainer reminds me a bit of rowing, which I tried in an eight boat and hated it. I had no idea the seat was above the sides [whatever they are called] or how fast you travel. Thrilling but weird. Prefer white water.

Thursday Feb 18th (Day 18)

Jo Whiley stirred up the hornet’s nest on vaccinations with a very brave and passionate interview about her sister Frances in a care home. We all felt for her, but were grateful because she has shone a light on the problem and I do believe after a nearly 3-month battle that the media get it, all of you get it and the politicians are starting to get it.

  • Morning: 10 miles with some chat at the beginning and a couple of bursts of speed at the end
  • Mid-afternoon: 3 miles with speed!
  • Evening: 8 miles and Spurs inspired by me!

I was very chatty today, talking about my old school and the frustrations of being a lifelong Spurs supporter. Having managed to lose their last 6 games, I threatened to stop riding if they didn’t win this evening. Miracle of miracles they did.

Friday February 19th day 19

  • Morning: 13 miles broke the 100miles to go barrier! Woohoo.

All the rides are recorded. I simply don’t believe even the least trusting of you will sit through the lot. Good luck if you do. I did do a lot of whooping and hollering when I got down to 100 miles to go. I can’t feel my backside anymore, but I can feel the finish just about in sight.

  • Evening: 9 miles. Passed my old school in Enfield and arrived at the house I lived in for the best part of twenty years. The longest I lived anywhere since.

Three miles south of Enfield where I went to school and arrived in Winchmore Hill, 3 miles from my spiritual home Tottenham, where the Millar family started life in a flat next to the Spurs ground and where my dad worked for over 30 years.

Saturday February 20th day 20

  • Morning 13 miles – passed Tottenham passed Clapham heading to Maidstone

Down the Edgware Road where I had my first flat in London, down Park Lane where my girlfriend and I went to the Hilton for tea and felt very posh.

Clapham, where I have lived for 12 years. You can take the boy out of norf London but … well no buts, I’m very happy down here but I miss the kebab shops in Turnpike Lane. I visit my daughter who lives up there and it’s always kebabs.

I’m sort of numb both literally and spiritually. 72 miles out of 407 to go. I knew I would make it because it’s not in my nature to fail and because 300 of you have put your faith and your bunce behind me and I don’t let people down.

This Lockdown Legends thing has been a good shot in the arm for the good people of Scope and the number of people backing me and so backing them in a time of need is fantastic. Incredibly this ride will break £40,000 by the end of the journey. That’s 4,000 disabled people having someone to turn to in their time of greatest need. You should all pat yourselves on the back.

But really, after 28 hours in the saddle,  all I’m desperate for is my home in Marrakech, the warm African sun on my face  and a massage from the fearsome lady at the Red House.

Challenge itinerary

  • Hexham to Durham = 38 miles
  • Durham to York = 72 miles
  • York to Lincoln = 72 miles
  • Lincoln to Peterborough = 58 miles
  • Peterborough to Cambridge = 34 miles
  • Cambridge to Enfield = 45 miles
  • Enfield to Clapham = 14 miles
  • Clapham to Maidstone = 34 miles
  • Maidstone to Dover = 40 miles

Total = 407 miles

Running total: 335 miles

Miles remaining: 72