The final stretch of the tour
Depart: 09:00 – The Rose & Crown, County Durham
Weather rating: Chilly but bright
After a trying second day’s ride, day three was greeted with a little trepidation, but the knowledge that they were on the home straight helped ease tension in the group as they set about completing the tour. It was a bright morning, no hail forecast, and the cyclists set off promptly at 9am towards Barnard Castle, looking to conquer just shy of 50 miles before lunchtime. For the first time the intrepid group were met with a steady descent, calm weather and found themselves quite enjoying the ride – it had only taken 120 miles to get to this stage! Stopping off for lunch at the Stokesley institution that is Howards Cafe, the group were keen to stock up on essential energy (and possibly the largest bowl of pasta we’d ever witnessed) for the final push across the daunting North York Moors.
Depart: 13:00 – Howards Café, Stokesley
Weather rating: It might actually stay sunny all day!
Before anyone threatened to succumb to an afternoon nap, the cyclists got back out on the road and set their sights on the final destination – The White Horse & Griffin, Whitby. We waved a fond farewell to Tom as he hotfooted it back towards Darlington for a mid-afternoon train, and the group was left with four cyclists to complete the last stretch. The rural moorland provided beautiful scenery coupled with rugged terrain that tested the cyclists physical and mental faculties, but it didn’t stop the group putting their bikes, and legs, to the test with a sprint finish to the end – boys will be boys! Welcomed to the White Horse & Griffin with an open fire (it is Yorkshire after all) and a pint, the cyclists vowed not to get on their bikes again any time soon…
Along with St Gemma’s Hospice, Timothy Taylors Brewery and Firth & Co Wine Merchants, family and friends gathered at the White Horse & Griffin to celebrate the momentous achievement. Tucking in to an enviable spread of canapes, free flowing prosecco courtesy of Astoria and Knowles Spring Blonde from the chaps at Timothy Taylors, guests were then treated to a relaxed but hearty three-course meal courtesy of Head Chef Andrew Pearson.
With the support of Great Inns members, the cycling tour raised £1700 (inc. Gift Aid) for St Gemma’s Hospice which will cover the cost of around four days of care for a patient staying on the In-patient Unit. This amount includes absolutely everything a patient will receive during those four days, such as specialist palliative care from doctors and nurses, to medicines, laundry and therapies.