Coos Bay to UK
Thursday 27 Apr 04:32 PM - Friday 19 May 2006 04:32 PM
In 2006 a small group of intrepid cyclists arrived in the UK to experience the 'Bobby' policing style, and cycle UK Coast to Coast.
Daily Updates, by Robert Lounsbury, Coos Bay PD
please scroll to the bottom and read up
19 May 2006
Qoute of the day; 'is it over already?'
As this is written, the Coos Bay to UK team are over the atlantic, probably fast asleep after their 2 week, non-stop, hectic, here there and everywhere trip to the UK. Together with the Bobby on a Bike team, they have not stopped since arriving in the UK nearly 2 weeks ago! To list what they have done, seen and achieved in that time would take too long.
The city and police dept of Coos Bay should be very very proud of the 5 guys who made up Coos Bay to UK, they have represented themselves, the city and the dept at the highest levels of commitment and dedication and, as we might say here in the UK, 'they are all round good eggs'.
It's often been joked that we'd be glad to see the back of the 'pesky' americans, but nothing could be further from the truth, we have had a great time, the chance to give back support to a USA police dept is truely our pleasure, following all the support we have been shown on both cycle rides in the US, 2002 and 2005...
... so, as another set of updates comes to a close... I'd like to end with a qoute from a story told to us in the last few days...
'for those who want to give up, pedal on, for those who seek shelter from battery, pedal on, for humanity in need of inspiration... I beg... you pedal on'
16 May 2006
Quote of the day: 'There are just a couple rollers!'
Route: RNAS Yeovilton - Minehead
Distance: 50 miles
Time cycling: 3 hrs 27 min
Chris and Mark greeted us this morning bearing the smell of Tiger Balm athletic sports cream... We started the day with some group photos with our guest cyclist from the RNAS. The we were off toward Bridgwater to have lunch at Neil's father and step mothers home. They prepepared a full lunch spread for all of the riders.
The first half of the ride lulled us into a false sense of security thinking we were going to finish on flat ground. Then we were introduced to the Quantocks... this was a 'beyond catagory' climb to get to the top and then a 25.5 degree descent down the other side. Yipee... we broke the Bobby on a Bike speed record as we reached 53 miles per hour! The view from the top was spectacular as we could see the Bristol Channel and across to Wales. There was an open range at the top and we got to view some mountain goats, wild horses, and ponies.
We ended the ride with a short celebration looking out over the Bristol Channel and to the Atlantic Ocean. We said our goodbyes to the local cyclists who were going to ride a return 50 miles home.
WE MADE IT ACROSS THE UK! Some of the group went off to celebrate the occasion by visiting a local pub.
We have returned to Neil's dad home for a shower and then we are off for a 6 hour drive back to Woodbridge.
We were blessed with a safe ride by not having any injuries or mishaps. We were treated like royalty with the greatest of hospitality from everyone we visited.
We are going to be winding down by riding the train into London the next two days preparing for our return trip to the states.
15 May 2006
Quote of the day: '10 more miles in the bank'
Route: Alderbury - RNAS Yeovilton
Distance: 54 miles
Time cycling: 4 hours 0 min
We went for a van ride to start off the day to go take a view of Stonehenge. That was a site to see something made over 3000 years ago.
We returned to take down camp and head out on the bike ride. Our first stop to view the Salisbury Cathedral which was built in the 1200's. We are feeling much younger because we are hanging around these things which are so old... maybe it is all the cycling we are doing which makes us feel younger?
We cycled through several quaint English villages today, they continue to amaze us. We arrived in dairy country today and we knew so because of the smell and the smile on Nick's face. Nick had to pose along side the road sporting his Got Milk t-shirt.
We were welcomed to the Royal Naval Airstation by what we thought was a fly over for us and then Neil had to break our bubble and tell us they were just out for a training flight. We were put up in the station's officer's quarter. We feel pretty important!
Tomorrow is our last day cycling and Neil has just informed us we will have 7 guests along for the ride. We have heard they are taking us up a pretty steep climb but they have told us the veiw will be worth the work!
14 May 2006
Quote of the day 'that which does not kill you makes you stronger'
Route: Windsor - Alderbury
Distance: 75 miles
Time cycling: 5 hrs 0 min
We headed out this morning and made another quick stop at the Queen's Castle for a photo opportunity. Then we were off for our longest ride of the trip. We did have some slick roadways due to a little morning drizzle. Today's ride seemed to have never ending ups and downs it was like we were on a roller coaster! The ups did get gruelling toward the end of the day. During the ride, we did get to see a bit of police work in action as the local county police were finishing up at a single vehicle crash on the roadway.
We we were all greeted at the campground by our wonderful support team which already had camp set incluing our tents. That was the good news... we all set out for our usual after ride warm shower to find the stinkiest, dirtiest bathrooms which had cock roaches running around; it was not pleasant.
13 May 2006
Quote of the day: 'Three naughty donkeys walking shamefully home' or 'how many donkeys does it take to cross Neil'
Route: RAF Halton - Windsor
Distance: 32 miles
Cycling time: 2 hrs 11 min
We woke up today feeling at home with a morning rain shower. It was an early morning because we wanted to get to Windsor in time to see the Royal Worcester Regiment Band and guards marching toward the Queen's castle for the changing of the guard. The Queen was home because her flag was flying over the castle.
We met Neil's mum and step father there and they treated us to some coffee to warm us up after a chilly morning of riding. Then we were off to our campground to set up camp after a run in with a chap on a motorcycle!
We are now off to get a closer look of the Queen's Castle and surrounding area. Who knows, maybe she will invite us in for a little tea...
12 May 2006
Quote of the day: 'It's POETS day'
Route: Cambridge - RAF Halton
Distance: 54 miles
Time cycling: 3 hrs 47 min.
We were off today after Randy led us into some warm-ups to stretch out our sore aching muscles and Nick supplied everyone with some ibuprophen. Our only downhill for the day seemed to be out of the campground... We ended the day with two climbs which took us to the Royal Air Force base. I think Neil said the UK was flat?
We spent the afternoon on camp (base) getting ready for what looks like rain headed our way for tomorrow. We ate at the canteen and went to the camp police establishment.
11 May 2006
Quote of the day: 'You're gaining on it'
Route: Bury St Edmunds - Cambridge
Distance: 36 miles
Time cycling: 2 hrs 44 min
The day started with a near seven bike pile up as we (or at least Jeff) stopped for a traffic signal. After getting that out of our system, we were off to view some gorgeous countryside. We stopped for a photo of a gorgeous mansion which overlooked a beutiful valley below. We decided this was big enough for all of us to retire to someday...
Our first stop was at the country's horse racing city of Newmarket. There we got to view some real horsepower in action... but that is a whole other story hehehe.
Our caravan of cyclists headed toward Cambridge where some of us experienced a cycling paceline for the first time. Jeff did a stellar job of following Neil's directions, as a matter of fact, better than Neil... Neil and our support team took a wrong turn and got lost. He had a few quotes for the day which were not suitable for the update pages.
We finished the day in downtown Cambridge around the colleges and universities and we all feel smarter now because of it. We had a cultural experience as we all tried to punt (no, it does not have anything to do with football).
10 May 2006
Quote of the day: 'pinch me'
Route: Orford to Bury St Edmunds
Mileage: 61 miles
Time cycling: 4 hrs. 30 min.
Today was our first day of cycling; we started in Orford by dipping our tires in the North Sea and then off to the ride. We saw some beautiful countryside along with several English Cottages and Market Squares. We found we were having to work out the kinks because we have been not riding for over a week. We are now paying the price for being on the saddle for over 4.5 hours. We have all check our inventory for ibuprophen.
We received a police escort through the center of Woodbridge and up Market Hill by the Suffolk Constabulary. We stopped for lunch in Stowmarket where we were hosted by Tracey of the Police Federation Office. She presented us with a special gift.
We then were off to Lavenham where we visited their market square which was the home of buildings dating back to the 1200's. We stopped off to have another 'Blessing of the our Bikes' at a church which was also built in the 1200's.
The day was finished at the Suffolk Constabulary Bury St Edmunds office where Neil and Mel prepared a splendid dinner.
We have had two guest riders today and we added another two riders who are going the distance with us. We are pleased to have Jeff 'Bobby on a Bike' team member and his friend Kevin with us.
09 May 2006
Quote of the day 'ditch the shirt'
Whew! Neil and Jeff had us running out of the shoot today without a rest. We spent the morning visiting Sproughton Primary School where they had all of the children gather for an assembly where we discussed American Policing and the Coos Bay to UK and Bobby on a Bike connection. We presented the Head Teacher, Mrs. Needle, with a package from Mrs. Tedder and Millicoma Intermediate School. The children even sang a couple songs for us.
We spoke to the Suffolk Constabulary school officers and then off to lunch. After lunch, we made a methamphetamine presentation to their Chief Inspectors. They are just starting to hear about methamphetamine in the UK. We were then off to talk to their Domestic Violence group where we shared information brought from the states from our Women's Safety and Resource Center. Their Domestic Violence group, Break the Cycle, is excited about forming a partnership with our center.
We are looking forward to starting our ride tomorrow considering it is no longer raining. The bike ride may be restful after the paces we have been run through the last couple days!
08 May 2006
Quote of the day: 'when is a pudding not a pudding?'
We continued to receive some great Suffolk Police hospitality. Neil and his Bobby team are treating us like royalty. We are to the point where thank you just does not seem adequate and we are only two days into this adventure.
We started our day meeting with the Chief Constable and then on from place to place learning all about policing in the UK. We spent the afternoon on a ride along and each of us were shown some genuine UK emergency vehicle operation (whew! don't think they have heard of the two second rule which had us trying to find the brake pedal which should have been on the left where we were sitting). We are having a difficult time adjusting to riding in the drivers seat as a passenger and going down the wrong side of the road! We are trying aquire one of their police cars to bring home with us; we would like either the turbo charged Volvo or the Ford Mondeo (we think one may fit into our bike boxes to on our return trip).
We just finished with a awsome traditional roasted chicken dinner hosted by Neil and his family. Now, we are off to the Suffolk Police 'pub' to listen to a live band comprised of of members of the force.
07 May 2006
Quote of the day '1:30 PM?'
It seemed like it took the Coos Bay to UK team forever to get to London. TSA decided they needed to open our bike boxes in Portland to inspect them; I bet they were surprised to see how much we were able to cram into them. Nick was frantic upon opening his box to find a note telling him they removed his explosive devices. They did not like his CO2 tire inflators??? (must have looked like a bomb or something) Then he thought they took his pedals as a joke but he eventually found them stowed away somewhere else.
We had Neil and Tony waiting for us at the airport and they took us to the Suffolk headquarters where we will be staying for the next few nights before we start cycling. This facility is much like our police academy. Jeff cooked up sausage, hamburger, and chicken which was a very pleasant dinner after what they fed us on the airline!! Several members of the agency had dinner with us as we exchanged some policing stories with each other. Matthew tried to teach us how to play rugby but we have decided to stick with football.
We took a few moment to exchange our greetings and gifts. They provided us with some genuine Suffolk Constabulary coffee mugs and notebooks.
We are all suffering from a bad case of jet lag so we are off to get some much needed sleep to start at 'half past seven' tomorrow for a day full of events.
04 May 2006
Quote of the day; 'How many cops does it take to put a bike in a box?'
The Coos Bay to UK team is having a busy week making final preparations for the trip. We made two stops Monday morning; the first was at Millicoma Intermediate School for a send off celebration. Mrs. Tedder and several 6th grade students gathered for and assembly to send us off with a gift to present to the school in the UK. From there we got a "Bobby on a Bike" style police and fire escort (the only difference was they were heckling us on the loud speaker instead of sounding the siren. at least they were polite to our Bobby friends during their escort hehehe) to the Coos Bay Boardwalk where Chaplain Hamilton blessed the team and their bikes for a safe journey. We also took time to speak to local members of the media to promote our trip.
We spent three hours Tuesday night packing our bikes for shipment on the airplane. This signaled the end of our training so watch out UK here we come. We owe a BIG THANK YOU to Alan Moe at Moe's Bike Shop for doing a final tune up and for helping us pack them away. We tried to pack Alan in one of the boxes to come along as our bike mechanic but it made our boxes exceed the 50 lb airline limit. We sure hope Neil, Jeff, Tony, or Chris know how to put them back together.
28 April 2006
Quote of the day; 'this tube rolls faster'
Route; Coos Bay - Coquille - Bandon - Charleston - Coos Bay
Time cycling; 4hrs 27 min.
You could say today's group ride was eventful; 4 tires, 3 tubes, and 2 patches and that was all before we left the police department parking lot! Mark and Chris decided to change their tires before leaving and the process 'blew' out 3 tubes. We are now efficient in changing tires and tubes! Six miles into the trip Chris announced he had another flat so we stopped for repair. Two more miles down the road Mark hit a boulder causing his Gatorade to go flying. The rest of the trip to Coquille went smoothly. Nick, Chris and Mark had to head back to town because of other obligations. Randy and Robert forged ahead. Robert took a wrong turn taking them down a road which had a 4 mile section of gravel where the road seemed to go straight up and straight down for the entire time (7 times it seemed; now we know why the road is called Seven Devils; the name should have been a clue). They got back on the paved road to be hit with a strong head wind and the good ol'coastline fog blowing in their faces. It is fair to say the team is ready for anything Neil and his "Bobby on a Bike" friends have in store for them on their trek across the United Kingdom - Whew, what a day!
The team is now preparing for their send off at Millicoma Intermediate School and a "Blessing of the Bikes" celebration at the Coos Bay Boardwalk on Monday. We leave from Portland next Saturday, May 6, 2006.
27 April 2006
Quote of the day; 'We'll have you speaking proper English by the time you return home'
The Coos Bay team is in the final stages of preperation for their trip. Robert and Neil have been frantically working (stressing) to make sure all of the last minute details are in place to make the trip a success. All of the phone time has had their wives wondering if this Bobby on a Bike and Coos Bay to UK relationship will ever end ... hahaha.
On the home front, we are preparing for a 70 mile group ride scheduled for Friday. We are having perfect weather for our last minute training for the trip.
Our passports and plane tickets are in hand and we can feel the excitement in
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