THU: 12º/5º FRI: 15º/3º
Bringing Home the Bacon: Day 9
The Farrell family entered a fifth country in their 1000-mile charity cycling tour of northern Europe. The team, headed by lead cyclist Nathaniel (“Tan”) Farrell made its way to Ghent, Belgium, after departing from the Dutch town of Breda, still bearing in mind their generous motivation to raise £10,000 (94,888 kroner) for a British charity fighting epilepsy.
Tan’s younger brother, Sebastian, described an uneventful first half of the trip in the family’s blog. But, as always in this adventure, complications were just around the corner.
Tan had planned to make a quick stop in the Belgian city of Antwerp, where the family was expected for lunch at the Hilton – the hotel chain has graciously endorsed the family’s cause, offering them accommodation and food at various stops. This forced Sebastian to drive “Matilda” – the group’s large, white and slow van – across a traffic-ridden city centre.
And more was to come. In the middle of traffic, Tan’s father and cycling lieutenant, Kevin, got a fair scare when his bike derailed. Kevin momentarily lost control of his two-wheeler, “[careering] into the road, swearing”, Sebastian recalled, but he didn’t harm himself.
But the real difficulty only appeared once the team resumed their journey after lunch. Having been together constantly for the past two weeks, sleepless, homesick and exhausted, it was inevitable that tensions would mount up to breaking point, Sebastian opined in the group’s blog.
And inevitable it was: Tan, exasperated by what he thought was his father’s reluctance to take the lead on the cycling front – the group leader carries the rest of the cyclists on his back, protecting them from the wind – “snapped”, and aimed a vociferous row at his father.
Tan then insisted on finishing the rest of the road to Ghent on his own, and in the team, no one was “brave (or stupid) enough to argue with him”. Hopefully, the team’s nerves and mood will be lighter as they ride their way to the French seaside town of Calais, tomorrow, the last step of the journey before returning to England.
“Bringing Home The Bacon” is the Farrell family's plan to cycle its way to northern England in order to raise £10,000 (94,888 kroner) for a charity raising awareness of epilepsy. The project, set up by Nathaniel “Tan” Farrell, was inspired by the tragic death of his younger sister, Felicity, who succumbed to epileptic seizures in 2008. Donations can be made on this link.