Day 53 Friday 22 April: There’s no such thing as a free ride. As mentioned on Day 52, the invitation to join the most northerly Lifeboat crew on their exercise was one not to be missed. Alas, Aith could not be reached in time on a bicycle. Not even on a machine like Fondo. The only way was to resort to motorised transport. Having enjoyed the amazing experience already described in advance of the essential cycle ride, it was now payback time.
The unbroken chain of cycling the roads between Lifeboat Stations must continue.
Conditions: Fair (by Shetland standards), 17mph Northerly wind, mostly dry, light snow flurries, 3°C.
Going: Mostly good, stretches of smooth, recently resurfaced tarmac.
Ascent: 540 metres (three long, gradual climbs, one short sharp shocker).
Distance: 21miles. Time: 1hr 50mins. Max: 38mph.
Equipment: KinesisUK Racelight Ti GranFondo (a bicycle, better known as Fondo).
Conclusion: A much easier than average day of cycling in Scotland, through stunning Shetland scenery, only slightly blurred by north wind-induced tears. A low price to pay for the pre-enjoyed time already spent with the team right at the top of the British Isles. All downhill from here? If only ..!
Both Claire and I would like to express our sincere thanks again to Hylton Henry (Cox’n extraordinaire) Kevin Henry (Mech), John R (Mech) and crew members Jimmy, Raymond and Robert for their kindness on both visits, plus the rest of the crew we did not have the pleasure of meeting, for your generous donation to ‘the cause’. Good luck through 2016 and beyond.