Grounds today - Luton Town, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, West Ham United and Charlton Athletic
Luton to central London
The excitement within the group was tangible – oh yes! Luton Town’s ground was only a stones throw away! We got there and to be perfectly honest the previous grounds and all those to follow can whistle! The home of the mighty Hatters will be all the better when someone pulls their finger out and sorts out their new home.
With a heavy heart we left the Town and headed through familiar territory, Harpenden and St. Albans towards the Big Smoke.
Certain parts of the route were navigated by our guest rider, Gooner who helped us through the outskirts of Northern London near where he works and also to his team Arsenal. We had fun following his last second direction changes as things became more familiar.
Brad was like a kid in a sweet shop on arrival at White Hart Lane. Bob and guest support personnel Damon Gerard, met us in the car park and Jamie used his usual charm to get us pitch side for a photo opportunity. The lady on reception had to almost drag Brad kicking and screaming from the pitch as he didn’t want to leave.
A couple of miles down the road to Highbury to the nearly redundant home of Arsenal and again greeted by Bob and Damo. Again the silver tongue of Jamie (Michelle should know how good it is) got us into the famous North Bank for another photo shot. Outside the ground was a hearty meal of fish and chips served on the bench in a resident only parking zone. Again Jamie sweet talked a passing traffic warden who allowed the banquet to continue.
A note left on the website’s guestbook by Adam Boland offered to double his sponsorship money if Jamie wore a leotard at two clubs. It was the easiest money we have earned and he accepted the challenge with glee. Have a look at the picture in front of the main door at Highbury and you’ll see the gay glint in his eye while wearing bright yellow lycra leggings and a grey leotard.
After being fully refueled and refreshed at Arsenal, we left for the 10 mile jaunt to West Ham and it promptly took nearly 2 hours to find! This was mainly due to the total lack of knowledge of this part of London and the horrendous Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. On arriving eventually at Upton Park Gooner suffered a puncture which required a team effort to repair. Jamie once again convinced the West Ham personnel to take us pitch side of a pic or two.
We left Upton Park behind us with a clear plan on how to get south of the river to Charlton but Gooner once again suffered another puncture less than a mile since his first. He must remember not to repair the inside of his wheel with masking tape in future, it just doesn’t work!
Quick trip across the Woolwich ferry showed that Brad had left his sea legs at home, have you ever seen a ginger turn green?
On arrival at Charlton the legendary Sir Bhab helped Jamie repair a broken spoke on his rear wheel AGAIN. Another bit of silver tongue helped the door to be opened to pitch side viewing of the quite impressive Valley.
The last 7 miles to the hotel took us past some recognisable landmarks of London, the Greenwich Meridian, The Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London to name a few.
What started out as a easy 55 mile trip around 5 grounds ended up nearly 70 miles of wrong turns and heart ache and also became the longest day in terms of finishing time. Tomorrow is a bit shorter and a visit to the last two London grounds.
See you tomorrow.
Time in saddle - 4 hours 57 minutes
Miles - 68.5 miles
Average Speed - 13.8 mph
Time of Departure - 9:27am
Time of arrival - 6:45pm
Max Speed - 44.0 mph (Brad)