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The Gold Post Box Cycle Blog

Golden Post Boxes

T-1 day  

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Breakfast with Carrie before our support, Steve Britton and Alison Willerton, joined us and Steve (Chris' Dad) checked out bike geras and more.  With a bit of servcing done, it was off into Cirencester, where Lucas lost all sense of direction and got lost in the one way system!  Once out of the town, it was  only 4 miles to Ampney St Peter and the first stop for Laura Bechtolsheimer's Olympic Gold medal in Equestrian Team Dressage - creating some interest in the small Gloucestershire village.  Shortly afterwards the heavens opened and rain coats were quickly on - and I must thank Mark Street (Day 3) for loaning his rain coat to Lucas for the trip as it's been a life saver!  

By Faringdon, we were soaked but had a tea break.  We then carried on and were delighted the weather then took a change and gave us bright sunshine for the rest of the day, much to our surprise given the forecast.  By Didcot we'd dried out a fair amount and collected lunch courtesy of Sainsbury's and on to Henley on Thames with a climb over the Chilterns. The box there is dedicated to British Rowing due to the success of the British teams at both games.  It was then to the waterside for some lunch on the banks of the Thames - and leaving Steve & Alison to carry everything back to the car whilst we cycled off to Maidenhead.

Ampney St Peter’s before the downpour

Day 8 - Cirencester to Chiswick (The Thmaes Valley)

With donations coming in a plenty at each stop, we are grateful for the generosity - don't forget you can also donate online at www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/goldpostboxes as well as meet us at your nearest location.  Andi Baker did just this in Maidenhead when we stopped at Sophie Christianson's  Paralympic gold box for Gold medal Equestrian: Equestrian: Mixed Individual Freestyle Test - Grade Ia.  Sophie had hoped to try and meet us but was unable to but retweeted as we travelled around.

On then to Eton Dorney and Dorney Lake, our third venue, where Great Britain and Northern Ireland had plenty of success. We cycled alongside the length - not a distance I would wish to row!  A picture with the full length of the lake behind us and then on through Windsor (past the Castle) to Sunningdale and Sophie Christianson's second box for her Paralympic Gold in Equestrian: Mixed Individual Championship Test.  A cup of tea alongside the A30 and on up the hill to Egham, where Lucas failed to know where the box was!  He had expected on Egham Hill but in fact it was at Royal Holloway University of London, which Steve and Alison found and Lucas had to eat humble pie for the fact he had been sure he would have known better! This was Sophie Christianson's third box, this for her Paralympic gold in Dressage Individual Freestyle Test Grade Ia.

7pm and we headed up and finally into London, alongside the Thames to Hampton Court, where we stopped for a fourth venue - home to the end of the cycling time trials, where Sir Bradley Wiggins won gold and Chris Froome a bronze.  Cycling up through Bushy Park afterwards we retraced the tyre marks of the route, albeit in the opposite direction.  Just out of the park we greeted Mo Farah's Olympic 5,000metres box in Teddington - a special one for Lucas as he saw it first hand whilst on Games Maker shift the same night at the Olympic Stadium. Another couple of London 2012 enthusiasts passed whilst there and donated whilst enthusing.

10 miles left and into Isleworth and Mo Farah's 10,000metre Olympic Gold, with the support team

just behind (At this stage it was a navigation challenge!)  They then had sat nav send them a different route to the final box of the day at Chiswick and Pete Reed (for a third time!!) for the Team Rowing Four gold in the Olympics.  5 minutes cycling left to head round the corner to James Waight's for the bed for the night and dinner!  Lucas led both bikes and the car as the car sat nav couldn't find the address!  10:05pm and car then unloaded and food consumed, showers had and picture uploading and blogging began.  Many thanks to Steve and Alison for their help all day - great job, especially finding some of the boxes.

Please keep spreading the word, tweeting etc - and donating to help boast our funds. We're only on week 2 of four!

Above: Henley on Thames

Below: Carrie Seaton with Chris & Lucas.

Lucas & Chris getting soaked!

Day 11 - Great Cornard - Watton (East Anglia)

Ready to go for 8am but had no support vehicle on site! Norman Walker (Lucas' Uncle) had taken some wrong turns on route.  Instead, we headed off before he arrived and left the items to be loaded, at the suggestion of our excellent hosts overnight - Bette & Ken Hodgson.  Bette had done us a cooked breakfast and sent us off with a packed lunch and sponsorship - for which we are very grateful!

We had 70 miles to do by 2pm as we had an athlete to meet so we were under some pressure to get some speed up.  Therefore, taking a wrong turn and going through Lavenham when not needed didn't help!  (Despite the fact it was a lovely village.)  We rerouted and made it to Needham Market - and still on for a 2pm arrival at Belton. We confirmed Norman had made it to Great Cornard for our stuff though still unsure where he was! We carried on and found a campervan eventually tooting from behind and Norman had caught us up!  He then followed us as we headed for Peasehall for juice and then Holton near Halesworth to have a tea stop.  A speedy one as we now had 18 miles to do in about 45 minutes!  

Despite a 2.25 mile detour along the A146 near Beccles, we still made it to Belton with Browston before 2:30pm and were greeted by a number of Jessica-Jane Applegate's family as well as Jess at the box.  Jess even had her gold medal with her and shared in conversation about the Paralympics work, her gruelling training schedule and her aunt told how the pub was packed out on the night Jess won her gold in Swimming 200m S14.  Jess had training to go to (she swims 4.5 hours a day amongst other training) but was generous with her time and great to get a better understanding of the Paralympics work.  We then lunched on the benches at the Railway Tavern, who gave us free drinks. We had broken a record doing 83 miles in 5.5 hours too!

The rest of the day should have been easy, but after a tea stop beyond Lodden, Lucas lost track and found he'd navigated them to 1.5 miles outside of Norwich!  Despite both Chris and Lucas being Norwich City fans, a diversion wasn't planned.  This was a spectacular one as it took them onto the Norwich ring road and back to Heathersett to get to Wymondham and then they headed the wrong way again!  Fatigue setting in, it seemed Lucas' brain had frozen and legs struggling as they headed for the end point of Watton, against a headwind.  David Hammond, day 12 support, met us and helped transport us onto accommodation in Ashwicken, courtesy of Viv & Steve Williamson.  Viv's sister is Pam Atkins, widow of Mike Atkins to whom Lucas has dedicated this event.  On arrival at their house, they were greeted by a small gold post box and Union Flag.  That was, once we arrived as sat nav had taken us to another village first!

We unpacked and showered and had excellent food before thanking (Uncle) Norman for his help and sending him home and ourselves to bed (or bed via blog)

Left: Jessica-Jane Applegate

Below: Lucas and Chris with hosts night 10/11, Bette & Ken

From left: Viv welcomes them in Ashwicken; With Norman at his campervan; With Jessica-Jane Applegate at ther box in Browston

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Above: Chris prepared for the rain; Russel weldomes the wet riders for a cup of tea; Lucas tops up his water supply in his fetching poncho

Below: Ruseel and Chris at Hadleigh Park; Lucas & Chris at the entry to Hadeligh Park, where the Mountain Biking took place - though it’s hard to tell!

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

The number on the post reflects a point where the Olympic torch relay changed

From top left clockwise:

With Andi Baker at Maidenhead

Top of Dorney Lake

Steve & Alison laden with lunch items

Alison, Lucas, support ar, Chris & Steve start day 8

At Sunningdale

Royal Holloway, Egham

Hampton Court

Mo Farah’s 5,0000 metre box, Teddington

Lucas cycling in Bushy Park

Isleworth - Mo Farah 10,000metres


Surrey boundary noting Olympic routes for cycling

Day 9 - Chiswick to Tuffnell Park (London)

And so it all went a bit wrong!  We always knew day 9 would be a hard day due to London - 10 post boxes and 12 venues and 135 miles to fit in.  James Waight, who had been an excellent host, fed us and watered us before support team, Sandra & Cieran, arrived and loaded up the car whilst Lucas finished uploading the blog that had been unsuccessful the previous evening.  All done, we sorted the route plans and off we set.  3.6 miles later we were at Earls Court and first venue of the day - where the Volleyball took place.  Whilst there we discovered we'd been given a mention on BBC Radio 2's Clare Balding show!  

On then to Wimbledon and Andy Murray's commemorative box for gold in Men's singles tennis and a picture at Wimbledon - The All England Tennis club - which hosted the London 2012 Olympic Tennis.   Back up the hill to Worple Road, Wimbledon, and the box for Sophie Hoskin's Olympic gold in Women's lightweight double Skulls.  Tweeting and leafleting etc done, we headed to Cheam and Joanna Rowsell's box marking her Team pursuit cycling gold. On route, Lucas' wheel buckled - leaving power poor.  We headed for Carshalton Road in Carshalton and cycled the length of it twice - to no avail.  Sandra & Cieran also had no joy in seeing a gold box. Chris asked a passerby and was directed to the one we'd just been too.  On googling, Lucas found the location and we headed back, only to find it had turned red and had no plaque!  You could see the box had been gold so we await to see why it's red again.  We still pictured and tweeted though.

Despite the wheel, we headed on to Wallington and David Weir

's four boxes, for Paralympic gold's in 1,500m, 5,000 metres, Marathon and 800metres.  Sadly no David himself but we had him retweet our posts, as did Joanna Rowsell.  This is also where the shortest distnace between any two boxes occurs - barely 0.1 miles between Foresters Drive and Mollinson Square. With the mini box frenzy done and lunch acquired courtesy of Sainsburys Wallington, we popped into Halfords to get Lucas' wheel sorted.  The Croydon branch didn't have one in stock but checked with the next one on route at West Wickham, who did.  On we headed, albeit slower than normal.  It should be added that once in Halford's Lucas handed over to Chris to explain the problem - he's the mechanic after all! Halford's West Wickham were very helpful and kindly waived all charges given our epic journey.  Whilst the bike was fixed we ate lunch alfresco in the car park - not quite Greenwich Park as planned!!  It also meant we mised meeting Adrian Andrews, Lucas’ step nephew-in-law who planted the seed of the cycle idea in Lucas' mind in September 2012.

We finally set off at 2:45pm, with just 29 miles completed of the 135!  A missed turning to Brands Hatch and discovering Lucas' couldn't get his usual speed range as the gears weren't right lost more time - finally reaching Brands Hatch at 16:15, the venue for the Paralympics cycling, where Dame Sarah Storey won her fourth gold medal. (Today hosting an American Speedfest).  A cup of tea and Chris made some adjustments to Lucas bike before heading off back to London from Kent.  It seemed the gears still weren't right and pace wasn't as good as hoped.  Chris then had a puncture - if it could go wrong today it would! We finally made Charlton and the Royal Artillery Barracks, home to shooting during the Olympics and where Peter Wilson won gold.  We then followed what is the London Marathon route round towards The O2.  For Lucas, a surreal route as he's used to running it not cycling it! At The O2 a picture - known as The North Greenwich Arena during the games (due to sponsorship arrangements) and hosted gymnastics and basketball.  Further on along the Thames estuary towards central London we entered Greenwich Park (5 hours later than planned!) where Equestrian sport took place and saw a frenzy of gold medals.  We met Sandra & Cieran and a cup of tea/snacks in the Cutty Sark underground car park!

We also needed to revise the plan - with 65 miles of the original day left unless we wanted to finish at 2am we had to revise the rest of the day.  Lucas had been thinking it all through since Brands Hatch and after some discussion, it was agreed Wembley and Watford would be transferred to day 14 with Uxbridge and we'd cycle direct to accommodation from Lord's to end day 9.  We pressed on and over Tower Bridge and along the Marathon route along Embankment to turn to Tothill Street in Westminster and reach what was the original Gold Post Box - painted to commemorate the Olympics & Paralympics coming to London before the games started in 2012. This was the final box for the day but venues still to reach.

A quick cycle through into Horse Guards Parade - where the scene looked set for trooping the colour, a bit different from the beach volleyball that took place here.  Round the corner we turned into The Mall and cycled down the route towards Buckingham Palace.  The Mall hosted the conclsuion to the road races cycling and Walk races  in the Olympics and Marathons in both games.  Lucas was present here when GB won its first medal of the Olympics - Lizzie Armistead silver in Women's Road Race cycling and the final medal of the Paralympics - Shelley Woods silver in the women's wheelchair marathon. (as well as being interviewed by ITV news for the former!).  As it appeared HM the Queen had not been able to wait for us due to the delays, we headed on to Hyde Park and the Serpentine - host to Marathon swimming and Triathlons - and the spectacle that was the Brownlee brothers Gold and bronze. Our last stop was then 2.5 miles up the road at Lords Cricket Ground, where Archery took place - a gold for ParalympicsGB when Danielle Brown was successful.

It was then to Tuffnell Park in North London to stay with Adrian Platt and Mark Russ (and their flatmates, Niamh and David. The car was unloaded and a mentally drained Sandra and still chilled Cieran thanked hugely - London was a tough day and always would be.  Amazingly, as cyclists we had only taken one wrong turn all day!  Adrian and Mark supplied great food to end the day.  But exhaustion had set in and Lucas was told to go to bed after Chris found him asleep at the laptop doing the blog!

Day 10 - Elsenham to Hadleigh Farm (Hertfordshire border, Olympic Park & Essex)

I forgot to mention that during day 9 we were asked if we were training for the Tour de France and then later that day cheered with "Vive le Tour de France" as we cycled through central London.  More Vive le tour de UK!

Adrian and Mark provided breakfast and had been excellent hosts - Mark snuck out at 7am having had breakfast without disturbing us (we were asleep in the kitchen/lounge).  Then we were up and greeted by Jackie Lowe, day 10 support driver.  Chris loaded the vehicle whilst Lucas sent off the daily press releases. We then left at 8ish - Jackie driving to Elsenham on the Essex/Hertfordshire border, whilst we cycled to Tottenham Hale to get a train. On route a fellow cyclist noted our tops and we had a good chat.  On the train Lucas finished typing up day 9's blog and caught up on twitter.  We nearly missed the connecting train at Audley as we had waited on the wrong platform and had to leg it up and down the stairs to platform one when the train arrived!  I should explain that we were starting day 10 where we had hoped to finish day 9, but had always had a plan B that if we failed to make it all the way we would get a train.  London had been a challenge!  Also, Chris had needed to adjust Lucas' bike gears again given yesterday's ongoing problems.

Day 10's first box was Elsenham and Ben Maher's for his Equestrian team gold, which he duly retweeted.  We then headed back south to Harlow, and Laura Trott's Gold Post Box to mark her Olympic gold in the Team Pursuit. Laura also responded on twitter to say she was up north and couldn't meet us - but we appreciated the response.  Our next two boxes were also for Laura Trott - one for the same event, on Cadmore Lane in Cheshunt and the third for her Omnium Gold, at Newham Parade in Cheshunt/Waltham Abbey.  In between, we had popped into Lee Valley White Water Park where the canoe slalom etc took place.  On tweeting this and tagging Etienne Stott and Tim Bailie, Lucas had inadvertently also tagged British rowing, forgetting that Canoeing having their own body.  He was corrected, politely, by Tim Bailie via twitter - who then retweeted the post too!  Alongside all this, at Cadmore Lane, Adrian (last night's co-host) and joined us to cycle back to the Olympic Park.  

On we headed, and back into the London zone, where we headed round to Enfield and the lengthy Southbury Road to find Charlotte Dujardin's second Gold Post Box, this one commemorating her Team Dressage Gold at the Olympics. Adrian and Lucas then shared navigation to get us to the Lee Valley cycle path - a much more pleasant route into the north side of the Olympic Park, where we met up with Jackie again at Eton Manor.  Eton Manor hosted Paralympics tennis and, during the Olympic opening ceremony, which Jackie and Adrian were both a part, they would change here and walk the 20+ minutes to the stadium to perform. We had lunch and Adrian had to part company to go to work.  We cycled through the park and stopped by the Velodrome (cycling), Copperbox (Paralympics Gaol ball/blind football and Handball during the Olympics), the Olympic Stadium (in the midst of reconstruction work) - where Lucas spent 5 weeks of 2012 as a Games Maker, witnessing Mo Farah's 5,000metre gold and the Opening Ceremony of both games amongst other events; then concluded at the Aquatics centre - briefly meeting up with Abby and Matt Poore -who'd been for a swim there.  Matt was a Games Maker with Lucas at the stadium and shares the "geekness" of it all!  A fleeting hello before we headed into Stratford itself to find the gold post box commemorating Stratford as the host venue for the Games.

Jackie had reached ExCel Arena in the docklands but a different entrance to us when we arrived at the venue for Judo, Boxing and Taekwondo - a venue that witnessed much GB success.  A quick tweet and we pressed on for Hadleigh Farm near Southend-on-Sea.  By this stage it was 5pm and we headed out of London in the thick of rush hour.  We also exited ExCel on a different route to planned and found ourselves in the midst of heavy traffic and unable to get off a chaotic dual carriageway which became the North Circular and 4 lanes!  At this point we were tooted - the driver unaware how desperate we too were to get off the road!  We finally got onto the A124, still hectic and as we whizzed through traffic Lucas head butted a side mirror on a van - proving why you need a helmet! In fact, this was his third incident of the day, having avoided a wing mirror on one car he just clipped another and skidded into the back of a third car in Enfield (no harm done that anyone followed up) and came to an abrupt halt near ExCel when he realised the traffic lights weren't filter light as cars were hurtling towards him as he turned right!

We stopped at Jackie & Russel Lowe's house as it was barely off our route and had a brew and happened to time it as the one rain shower of the day arrived.  We then planned that we couldn't cycle all the way to Sudbury and would at least need to stop after Hadleigh Farm and transport the bikes if we were to avoid a 1am finish!  We carried on out of London (to our relief!) and as we went through Upminster passed the 1,000 mile mark and therefore a third of the mileage.  (This is based on the mileage Lucas calculates from his odometer which resets itself every 127-139 miles!)  and country lanes to Hadleigh Farm, the home of the Mountain Biking.  The area is actually undergoing work and nothing spectacular at all - an anti climax made better but Russel being there waiting! After discussion, it was agreed we'd load the bikes there as we had a good 40+ miles to Sudbury and at 9:10pm even to cycle the next section would make it a very late end which seemed unfair on our excellent hosts, Bette and Ken Hodgson.  

It does mean we will have jumped a 43 mile section, although we had actually only done 31 miles less than the estimated total for the day.  We discussed returning to where we ended day 10 but it would make plans for day 11 impossible to achieve and given we haven't missed any venue's or post boxes (gold ones) in that section, we have, reluctantly, decided to continue from Sudbury for day 11.  But, as things stand, we will still cycle 3,000 miles (given we have taken 23 wrong turns already!)

Russel drove us up to Sudbury, well Great Cornard, a little longer route than planned due to diversions and using a Sat Nav ( not a tool used when we cycle and Lucas only took one wrong turn within the London boundaries!).  It seemed set that we should go up Maldon Road in Chelmsford but after 3 trips round the roundabout we ignored it!  At 11pm we arrived, having used the trip to catch up on emails etc. Roast dinner was served and then to the blog and eventually bed!

Many thanks to Russel and Jackie for their support today - another long one - as well as Adrian for joining us for some cycling and his and Mark's hosting overnight.

Above: Chris & Lucas at Elsenham

Below: Support, Jackie Lowe, and guest cyclist, Adrian Platt, at Eton Manor reliving the Olympic Opening Ceremony

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Earls Court in the morning

Chris in Halford’s sorting the broken spokes on Lucas’s bike

Andy Murray’s box on Church Road, Wimbldeon

With James Waight - host day 8-9. Chris holding James’ partner’s Olympic Torch and Lucas with a Games Maker baton

7am and Lucas is sending out PR’s and uploading the blog wshilt Sandra and Cieran consult maps and get a breif of the day’s plans and Chris catches up on texts.

Above: Lucas & Chris hill climbing to Brands Hatch

Left: Outside the All England Tennis Club aka Wimbledon

Below: Sophie Hosking’s box on Worple Road, Wimbledon

Day 12 - Ashwicken to Newport Pagnell (The Fens & Bedfordshire)

Clockwise from top left:

Chris texts and cycles!

David having lunch in St Ives

Chris on the Fens - and the fvast flatness we have crossed

With the supporters at Stotfold

Lucas Lane! (Ashwell)

Chris uses the box to store his helmet

With David at the Beford box

Sunset end of day 12

A hearty breakfast and some bits of prep before we thanked Viv & Steve for excellent hospitality (Steve having also helped give the bikes some servicing and with Chris lubed the chain)  We then, realised the speedo had been knocked during loading the night before and reset itself to kilometres.  Unaware how to get it back to miles we spent the day in KPH.  At least Lucas knows the conversion of kilometres to miles easy enough. Our support for the day was David Hammond, a friend of Lucas' from Bristol days, who provided an excellent supply of fresh fruit throughout the day.

The first half of the day took us across the fens south west bound.  You would expect the flatness to enable us to pick up speed, but instead we had headwind all the way - exasperated because of the lack of hedges and lots of long straight sections, it was not one of the more exciting aspects of the journey. We arrived in Doddington at 12:30ish - and the Gold post box for Jonnie Peacock's 100m T44 Paralympic gold.  Lucas had witnessed this first hand when on shift and even got a photo of Jonnie crossing the line. There was lots of interest in what we were doing from villagers, with a few reposting on Facebook and twitter.

We carried on through Chatteris to St Ives for our lunch stop at a small farm cafe by a Park & ride - who kindly topped up our water bottles with more juice and then onto Stotfold - re-entering the world of hills and picking up pace again (thus undulating seems the way forward!) At Stotfold we were greeted by a couple of locals, one of whom is an ex games maker, Pete Haine - who also had hot water for our tea!  The Stotfold box commemorates Victoria Pendleton's Olympic gold in the Kieran (cycling).  Whilst at the box, a lady with her two boys stopped to ask for pictures and was very excited by our presence (I fear she may have thought we were celebrities!)  We obliged and she did then retweet what we are doing.

People have been very positive as we've gone round and the smaller communities or boxes on housing estates have generated much more enthusiasm, which is great as the point of this epic trip is to raise money and awareness of the three charities and their work, and also keep that spirit of 2012 alive and the legacy idea in mind.

Bedford was our final box of the day, in St Paul's Square and commemorates Etienne Stott's Canoe double slalom gold (with Tim Baillie).  Whilst no medallists greeted us today, Etienne retweeted and also messaged us wishing us well whilst Jonnie Peacock retweeted - and Lucas was rather excited!

The day's end was a last 13 miles to Newport Pagnell and David's house.  As well as support driver he doubled up as host for the night, so on our arrival he had already emptied the car and had food on the go.  We had paused as we dropped into the town to admire a stunning sunset.  On completion, we had actually cycled the estimated mileage for the day - 122 miles - the first time it's been close all trip! David provided us great food and we both made some calls to family - Chris updating his Dad and Lucas to support for the next few days as well as replotting the route for Thursday to add in Watford and Wembley. However, blogging would wait as he couldn't stay awake! (so this is written at 6:50am!)

And, in answer to all the questions about chaffing etc - neither of us have major problems!  Chris has a slightly swollen knee and Lucas' knees start creaking later in the day.  Today was also the first day sore bum issues started to be more noticeable - but not to Davina McCall standards! (yet). And apologies to anyone messaging and getting delayed or no replies - the support is brilliant, it's just time - a reply will follow eventually!

Above: Ashqicken hosts - Viv, Steve and Jaks the dog

Right: Doddington & Jonnie Peacock’s Post Box

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Day 13 - Newport Pagnell to Wheatley (Chilterns & NE London)

Yet another impressive breakfast - thanks to David Hammond.  We were joined by day 13 support - Liz Dunning - one of Lucas' best friends, and headed off at 9am for Milton Keynes - a short 5mile cycle away to Silbury Boulevard and Greg Rutherford Olympic box for Long Jump. We were greeted by Paula & Andy Grant, who had been the first people to visit every gold post box - albeit using a motor vehicle. We discussed the boxes and locations and ones that reverted to red.

Then on we headed, working our way out of Milton Keynes and on down to Stoke Mandeville and the birth place of the Paralympic Games & Movement and the box nearby - unveiled by Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, who retweeted the tweet and wished us well.  Round the corner 2 miles into Weston Turville and Pamela Pamela Relph's box for Paralympic Gold medal Rowing: Mixed Coxed Four (LTAMix4+).  This was a challenge to find as it was in  Pillar part way down the street.  

On then  across to Watford to pick up last week's missed boxes from Sunday, starting with Anthony Joshua's in the centre of Watford - for gold in Boxing.  We then headed to Wembley after lunching in Watford centre.  At Wembley we picked up the two venues missed on Sunday - Wembley Arena (home to Badminton & Table Tennis) and Wembley Stadium - home to football. These were done in one spot and we just turned round to change the pose!

It was then a trip across London to Uxbridge and Church Road for one of Natasha Baker's boxes for her Paralympics gold in Equestrian Mixed individual freestyle test grade II and up the road a few miles on High Street, Uxbridge where he box - once we located it - marks her gold for  Equestrian: Mixed Individual Championship Test - Grade II.  Natasha was competing so unable to meet us, but did wish us well on our journey.

Liz had been caught in traffic so headed straight to Fulmer, just on the west side of London.  Here we found the box for Sophie Christianson's three Paralympic golds in equestrian and this is near the Riding for the Disabled South Buckinghamshire branch. Another retweet from Sophie too.  We then headed west, finally leaving London for the last time (having spent rush hour navigating across it.)  We were next in Marlow - though we got lost ion lanes and found ourselves 0.5 miles up an A road than we had been.  So we diverted through Beaconsfield to reach the Marlow box gone 7pm. The box commemorates Naomi Riches Gold medal Rowing: Mixed Coxed Four - LTAMix4+ final and concluded the day's boxes as we felt it was too late to reach Oxford.  

We did carry on to Wheatley, 7 miles out of the city, where we stopped for the night and loaded the bikes onto the rack and headed to Witney, where the Griffins hosted us for the night. It was very much eat, drinks, shower and bed.  Lucas deemed he was too tired to do the blog hardly staying awake in the car to Witney let alone any later.  Many thanks to Liz for her great job as support driver.

Top: Uxbridge High Street

Right Watford

Lower right: Wembley Arena

Bottom: Church Rd, Uxbridge

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Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Clockwise from above:

Stoke Mendeville; Fulmer; Paralympics agios in Stoke Mandeville; Milton Keynes with Paula & Andy Grant; Weston Turville; With support driver, Liz; Wembley Stadium

Day 14 - Newport Pagnell to Great Barr, Birmingham (Oxford & Warwickshire)

The middle day - which included the middle box and the mid way point on the mileage.

Another day where adjustments to the route were made to account for the London rejig.  The Griffin household provided breakfast and banter - the kids (Tess, Erin & Zac) had done welcome and good luck posters for us which were in the window. Having replotted the route from Oxford to Alcester, we set off to Wheatley where we finished day 13.  (Having to turn around to collect the cool bag!).  At 9:50am we set off and cycled into Oxford and Lily van den Broecke's Paralympic gold box from rowing Mixed Coxed Four (LTAMix4+) - with some friends of hers passing us.  This box had extra significance as it marked the middle of the post box collection as it was number 56 of the 111.  Si Clarke, our support for the next two days, was very on the ball and over the day obtained lunch and tea at Sainsburys Warwick and Kiddlington as well as kept us fuelled with tea etc.  

On from Oxford and it was a long climb over the Cotswolds to Shipston on Stour for a tea break and then to Alcester, where Nick Skelton's first box for his Showing jumping Olympic gold is located.  We also had a surprise visit by Lucas' parents, Roger & Frances, to give more support.  More tea and then on to Stratford upon Avon and a hairy cycle along the busy A46. The box was easily located, near the river, appropriately given it celebrates James Roe's gold in the Olympics' For Men's team rowing.  Lunch was taken sat by the River Avon before we did a tour of the one way system trying to escape on the A3400 and up to Warwick. We took the A46 briefly once again and have currently awarded the A46/M40 junction most daunting route by bike and we got separated hurting through the traffic and lanes.

After a slight reroute through to Leamington Spa, we found ourselves directed the long way round Coventry and on the A444 dual carriageway for 3 miles trying to get to the Ricoh Arena, which was our 25th venue and host to football during the Olympics.   A short cycle up the road into Bedworth and Nick Skelton second post box.  But the day wasn't yet over and we plodded on for Aldridge.  It started raining on route, at around the point we hit 1,500 miles - the halfway point of the trip near Nether Whitacre and Marston.  As it also got darker, so we found route finding got harder as we ended up nearly colliding with a gate in Middleton when we expected the lane to carry on! With wriggling about lanes and seemingly unable to escape Sutton Coldfield, we finally reached Aldridge at 11:07pm to Ellie Simmonds Paralympic gold box for her swimming 400m freestyle S6.  This now took the place of the latest box arrival of the tour.

5 miles left to do down to Great Barr and our accommodation for the night at Carole & Phil Challis - even though they were away.  Si did the honours cooking tea before much needed sleep was needed - Chris as running on empty the last few miles and Lucas was getting ever more annoyed with a lack of sign posting.

Top: The mid way box in Oxford - Pamela Relph’s.

Above: Lucas & Chris ride in to Sheiptson on Stour

Clockwise from top left:

Roger & Frances (Lucas’ parents) with the boys in Alcester;

The Griffin Family - hots overnight;

Tess & Erin with posters to wish Chris & Lucas good luck;

Si sorts the support car contents;


Twin boxes, Strtford upon Avon;

Si Chris & Lucas in Bedworth;

The Ricoh Arena, Coventry;

Late night in Aldridge

Cycling through Warwickshire

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Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25

Day 26

Day 27


Left: At Lord’s Cricket Ground, home to Archery

Above: Joanna Rowsell’s box in Cheam

Right: A former gold post box that had turned red again - in Carshalton

Left: In Hyde Park where the marathon swims and traithlon’s took place

The David Weir box collection in Wallington

Above: Lunch in Halford’s car park and Lucas brings his bike down the stairs with a new wheel

Chris & Lucas cycle down the Mall and pose (HM The Queen was out) .  Pose around the point where the Marathons, walk races and road cycling all finished

Left: At Horse Guards Parade (not the same without the Beech Volleyball!)

Right: Lucas & chris cycling through South East London suburbs

Left: With support for day 9, Sandra & Cieran, at the Westminster Box, the first box painted to commence the Gold Post Box theme - as stated on the plague

Left: Chris approaches Big Ben on some of what was the 2012 Marathon and Walk race route

Right: At Brands Hatch, home to Paralympic road cycling, and a sign confriming the District was a London 2012 host

Left: Crossing Tower Bridge, where the Olympic Rings & Agios hung

Right: Lucas & Chris at the Royal Artillery Barracks

Left: Cutty Sark, on the way from Greenwich

Right: Cycling along the Londoin Marathon route - a different view for Lucas

Below left: At the O2 known as the North Greenwich Arena during London 2012

Below: At Greeniwch Park, home to Equestrian events in 2012

Above: Lee Vlley White Water Rafting Centre

Below: At Laura Trott’s box in Harlow

Left: At the Velodrome in the Olympic Park

Immediate left: Chris applies Biofreeze to Lucas’ neck and shoulders

Right: On Southbury Road in Enfield

Right: Adrian taking a brief lead in north London

Left: Passing the Copperbox

Right: Cycling down the Lee Valley cycle path

Below: Adrian and Chris enter the Olympic park

Left: By the Aquatics Centre

Lerft: Lucas heads for his would be home, the Olympic Stadium and with Chris by the Stadium

Right: At Eton Manor with Adrian

Right: At the post box in Stratford, London

Left - with Matt & Abi Poore in the Olympic Park

Right: Outside ExCel Arena where Boxing, Judo and Taekwondoo took place

Above: At the first box in Cheshunt

Below: With Adrian at the Newham Parade box in Cheshunt

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The blog was written by Lucas each night and any errors may reflect how tired he was!