It’s a well proven fact that after 50 years of age everything becomes harder to achieve, especially physically… and this year’s Cycle Marathon re-emphasized this concept ☺

Fantastic fourAs promised, on Saturday 27 Sept 2014 the ‘FANTASTIC FOUR’, Bogdan, Ady, Cosmin and me, set off to complete the marathon. The weather conditions were more suited for an Indoor Marbles Marathon, than cycling along the Romanian sea-front. The Indian Summer we had been basking in had decided to give a us a quick preview of the Siberian Winter to come… freezing rain, and an icy wind like the proverbial stepmother’s breath… of course both driving into your face whichever direction you pointed your bike.

So we decided at the last minute to take a more sheltered start to the race, through the local park, in the vain hope that the Indian Summer might return by the time we exited the other side… fat chance!?

As we came out of the park and entered the ‘sea-front leg’ of the ride the weather scene was primeval. To our right as we rode, turbulent waves were crashing onto the shore whisking sand, broken sea-shells and stinging sea-spray into the air, to be captured by the whistling wind and hurled spitefully into the faces of our intrepid little band. As you will see from the photos, there was a dearth of people cheering us on, in fact not a living sole was to be seen for the whole ride…not even the dog packs were crazy enough to move from the warmth of their ‘homes’.

This is me with a crazy grin, I was thinking of a Max Wall song at the time…can’t tell you which one as they are a bit risqué, but it helped me keep pedalling.
This is me with a crazy grin, I was thinking of a Max Wall song at the time…can’t tell you which one as they are a bit risqué, but it helped me keep pedalling.

As I focused on my front wheel with the mantra of Ifor the Engine pushing me on, “You can do it, you can do it…”, I was reminded of the words of the famous Welsh philosopher, Boyce who summed up my state of mind of mind aptly with his immortal phrase, “DEW IT’S HARD!!”. The only positives I could muster at this point were that the dogs were AWOL and the weather had allowed me to finally wear my Max Wall leggings without fear of ridicule… the Romanians haven’t heard of Max Wall ☺.

Bogdan
Bogdan

But the conditions were to take their toll. By half way Cosmin and Ady decided that they had shown sufficient commitment to our cause and wanted to see their families again ☺, so they reluctantly gave up at this stage. This meant the Fantastic Four had dwindled to the Durable Duo, Bogdan and me, and as you can see from the next photo Bogdan’s training was paying off, he even had to slow down periodically to allow me to catch up.

As we turned the half-way stage the weather seemed to take pity on us, the rain stopped and the wind eased to a balmy bite and behind us at last!

‘Durable Duo’ & reflective pose of me…thinking ‘never again’... until next year.
‘Durable Duo’ & reflective pose of me… thinking ‘never again’… until next year.
So we finished, and never was a warm drink of something red ☺ so welcomed. On the plus side the sand-blasting had removed most of my wrinkles, (not a recommended beauty treatment☺), and left me with a deep appreciation of the simple things in life, like being able to breathe normally again.

My deepest thanks to all who participated, especially the ‘back-room staff’, Mihaela who did a great job organizing this event, Elena who took some wonderful photos, and my lovely wife Alina who has encouraged and supported me through it all.

Finally my sincerest thanks to everyone who has promised sponsorship from all over the world, Canada, USA, New Zealand and the UK.

If you still want to donate and haven’t got around to it yet you can donate to Everyone’s Child – Romania online on ‘My Donate’, or by cheque to the Treasurer of Everyone’s Child Romania, or else by making a bank transfer to the UK or Romanian account.

1) Treasurer’s Address: (cheques payable to ECR)

Merriel Brewer
41 Addison Street,
Cefn Fforest
Blackwood
Gwent

Poster from 2013
Poster from 2013

2) ECR Charity bank details (direct payments):

Account Name: EVERYONE’S CHILD – ROMANIA

Lloyds Bank, High St., Blackwood, Caerphilly.
Sort code: 30-90-91
Acccount No: 0334 6018
Bic/Swift code No: LOYDGB21331
IBAN No: GB74LOYD30909103346018

3) Romanian bank details:

Account name: Asociatia Copiii Tuturor
UNICREDIT-TIRIAC BANK, Str. I.C. Bratianu, Constanta
IBAN: RO22BACX0000000862544000
SWIFT CODE: BACXROBU