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Silver Cycling Success on Assessed Expedition

This weekend, our team of 6 Silver cyclists completed their Assessed expedition. This took place locally around Cambs, Beds and Northamptonshire as they had to go home every night, due to the current Covid restrictions.

Over the 3 days they completed over 90 miles of cycling in all sorts of conditions!

We all assembled at St Ives on Day 1, parents dropped them off, kit was checked & the Assessor gave a brief on what was required and expected.

Much wrestling then took place as they marked the routes on the maps in some quite gusty wind, before setting off on the great adventure!

They made good time, the keen eyed supervisor spotted “Road Closed” signs and carried out a reconnaissance, this revealed that the road was indeed closed, but that the diversion was suitable & wouldn’t take them off route much – he then passed this information to the team who adapted & carried on with no problems!!

The traditional DofE meal of pasta and sauce was boiled up for lunch and they carried on.

Ironically, when less than 15 minutes from the finish point in Spaldwick, and as light was failing, the team picked up not 1 , but 2 punctures!! Given the short distance involved, they just picked up the bikes and carried them to the end point, punctures would be fixed overnight (not by parents!!)

Day 2 started clear and dry. The team assembled, took advantage of some pub tables to mark the days route on the maps and got ready to start – only to discover that a bike already had puncture (not one of the bikes that had one on Day 1)

This was fixed and the team set off in good time.

Storm Aiden was forecast to grace us with his presence, and it was clearly on everyone’s minds – nervous looks to the sky whenever the wind gusted or the sky darkened.

The first thing the team came across was a particularly muddy bridleway, and they went slightly off track whilst on it – they spotted their mistake quickly and recalculated their route, getting back on track with only a minor delay.

Then the next puncture struck!! This one took a while to fix, and the sky was darkening considerably by the time they set off.

Once more the intrepid supervisor had carried out a reconnaissance, identifying a shelter by a football pitch that the team could cook under and keep out of the elements.

They sat under this, safe from the wind & rain whilst merrily boiling their pasta until, just as they were finishing, a football team arrived to get changed in the shelter!! They packed up, relinquished the shelter to the footy players, and ventured out into the lessening weather…

The rest of the day went swimmingly, Aiden had obviously decided to spare the Silvers and the sun came out!! They finished in good time and were collected by their loyal parents.

2 cooking sets were found in the trailers after the team had departed……….

Day 3 started nice & early in Gravely – clear skies and gusty winds were the order of the day.

2 participants were shocked to see the state of their cooksets and set about cleaning them – luckily there was time as a bike had once again arrived with a puncture that had to be fixed!!

This proved to be the last puncture of the expedition luckily.

It was obvious it was the last day as they cycled with the wings of hope on their feet!! They made really good progress, picking a large oak tree with a bench to boil their lunchtime pasta under.

A merry lunch was had, with much joking and chatting with the Supervisor & Assessor, before setting off for the last time…..

The team rolled back into St Ives with no dramas, handed their gear in & were collected by relieved parents – the adventure was over!!

Well, not quite!!

2 days later, they re-assembled via the wonder of the internet to deliver their Poems to the Assessor – who was pleasantly surprised by the quality of them and the insights that went into them!!

Well Done All – see you back at Gold hopefully.

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