Bringing Home the Bacon: Day 10
Team Farrell has reached the French sea-side city of Calais, after another windy day on their saddles. This marks the fifth country in the family’s 1000-mile (1,600 kilometres) journey from Copenhagen to North England, putting them a step closer to completing their trip to raise £10,000 (94,888 kroner) for charity.
As always, lead cyclist and organiser Nathaniel (“Tan”) Farrell completed this 65 (104) mile leg separating Calais from the group’s starting point, the Belgian city of Ghent. Cycling along was Tan’s girlfriend, Regitze, who finished her first leg above 100 kilometres yesterday.
Kevin, Tan’s father, could not join his teammates this time around. The 53 year old seems to have reached breaking point, after courageously shouldering his son through most of his perils along Northern Europe’s cycling lanes.
Adding to his fatigue, his bike has given up on him. Despite his efforts to repair it, Kevin’s bicycle became Team Farrell’s first “bike casualty”, as noted by Tan’s brother, Sebastian Farrell, in the family’s blog. It now rests peacefully atop the family’s white LDV van, “Matilda”.
Sebastian volunteered to replace his father and help his brother struggle through the wind by taking turns at leading the pack. He held on for over 15 miles (24), enjoying the many pleasures the road can offer: he was fortunate enough to “eat at least sixteen different species of insects”, during his spell on the two-wheeler.
In Sebastian’s own words, it was a relatively quiet day. The distance was one of the shortest the team has had to battle through since the beginning of their adventure.
Yet the group did get its small share of thrills when Tan suffered a crash as he was making his way through a forest of tourists in the Belgian town of Nieuwpoort. Fortunately, it was more fear than harm. Tan picked up his bike and resumed the ride, later confiding that the only thing he hurt was his pride.
Once more, the weather proved somewhat reluctant to ease the team’s progress through Flanders and northern France. Strong winds slowed Tan and Regitze. But this was only a meteorological starter before the skies offered the main course: a hailstorm duly saluted the cyclist’s entry in France – another snotty derision from the cruel, Briton-mocking French! Yet none of this was enough to stop the team, who made it into Calais in the evening.
The next step of the road will be of particular delight for Tan’s younger brother, Sebastian. For a few days already, he has been confiding his homesickness and eagerness to return to Britain. He shall do so in style, whistling the traditional English song “Jerusalem”, along with his brother and the teammates, as they stroll through southern England to reach Maidstone.
“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.