Day 15

This morning we woke in Carrickfergus. We didn’t arrive at the hotel until 10.30 the night before so didn’t really know what the town was like until today. It’s a very nice little town. Very clean and tidy in a great setting on the coast. Before we left for Antrim we had some photos at the castle nearby and the memorial dedicated to those who gave their lives in previous wars. Their was also a dedication to people killed by terrorists during the troubles. This was a very sobering feeling. It was not long ago that the very place we were standing would not have been safe for us to visit.

We set off for Antrim DC. This was a 20 mile ride inland, so more dreaded hills. We arrived just after 11am and were met by several staff members and a photographer from the local newspaper. Photos done and a welcome canteen break talking to the staff we set off for Lisburn store. A lot of the roads we have ridden on over the last couple of days have been extremely rough. Every bump and hole travelled through the bikes and our bodies. We have not stopped cycling for 15 days now and we are battling more and more everyday as our bodies get more and more tired. The vibrations make our hands go numb, our joints ache and don’t even go there with our backsides! Karl’s problem has been his shoulders. Leaning in the same position for hours and the constant vibrations going through his body left him virtually unable to move after 30 miles. He really was in complete agony. Ice pack applied as a temporary measure and safely in the van, we pushed on for Lisburn.

A few more testing hills later we arrived just after 2pm. We were totally amazed by the fantastic welcome at the store. We went to the staff canteen where we were greeted by applause from the staff. They had laid on the most welcome spread for us and all showed such an interest in what we are doing. We really enjoyed spending time with these people. We were only a short distance from the hotel and we all needed an earlier finish after last night, not to mention Karl in need of treatment so after an hour and the now usual photos, we left. Scott spent over an hour trying to fix Karl. Hopefully the rest tonight will do him good. Tomorrow we have a tough day. Over 70 miles with lots of hills taking us into Southern Ireland. Tomorrow also takes us past the 1000 mile point. We need an excuse for a photo.