So today was our full dress rehearsal.  We have both fitted our rack and panniers (amazingly, mine are still on!) and we filled them with pretty much all the stuff we plan to take with us.  Luckily, we've both found that the panniers weigh slighly less with our real items than with our assorted bricks, bottles and miscellaneous heavy things that we have been practising with.

The day didn't start well, as my Garmin (GPS) decided to turn itself off each time I tried to tell it to navigate our ride.  Luckily, Ian pretty much knew where we were going (always a first for everything!)

The ride itself started well.  We set off at the right pace, and made good progress.  We climbed to the top of the climb coming out of Stroud and Ian said that was the last of the hills (more of that later).  We both felt good and ploughed through Cheltenham, Bishop's Cleeve and then onto Tewkesbury.  After 34 miles we had our first stop - the "Jelly Roll Cafe" on the way into Tewkesbury.  My sandwich and tea were excellent, served by a very helpful lady who took our photo (above) - not quite from the position we had planned, but never mind :)

We carried on and then as we approached Ledbury we climbed a 2 mile 9% hill (I thought there weren't any more big hills Ian!) and Ian began to get bad knee pain.  We carried on, up a few more hills :) then past the impressive looking Eastnor Castle, into Ledbury and then on the final 21 mile drag back.

Ian's knee got worse, so we hope this gets sorted soon - It could have been him lifting 330kg slabs all day  yesterday of course.  I'd started the day with a tight hip / buttock but it seems to be no worse now than when I started - hopefully the stretches and excellent (if agonising) massages from Wendy will do the trick.

We arrived back at Ian's having completed the 70 miles, and reassured how well our kit worked.  Of course, when we do it for real, we'd have to repeat for another 13 days!

Finally, we have now reached £600 or 60% of our target.  Many thanks to all those who have very generously donated so far.  Anyone who would still like to - please click on the justgiving link on our charity page, or donate cash directly to us, it really is a great cause. 

All for now.

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