Final Day – Day 17 – Woodhall Spa to IBCC

To The International Bomber Command Centre

After 17 days of riding, today was the final day. It was a comparatively short run from Woodhall Spa along the Sustrans route into Lincoln.

I didn’t manage the Steep Hill up to Lincoln, my legs are finally starting to suffer.

After a quick coffee by the Cathedral from where you can clearly see the spire of the IBCC I descend Steep Hill, (walking again, cleats are slippery of cobbles). I consulted the approach map provided by the IBCC and climbed the short but intense Cross O’Cliff Hill and with the wind on my back for thievery first time that day coasted to the International Bomber Command Centre and swathed on the counter at 1725,85 – 8% more than I expected!



Today's Route

In the decades following the Second World War, Bomber Command veterans were almost forgotten.

The extensive bombing of civilians did not fit with the idea of a just war. Veterans tended not to talk about their experiences.

From the 1980’s, this began to change. Small memorials began to appear, such as church windows, plaques at crash sites and stone memorials alongside disused runways. Then in 2012, the Queen unveiled a memorial to Bomber Command in Green Park, London.

What explains the timing of this recognition, so many decades after the war? Perhaps it was the diminishing number of veterans. Perhaps the next generation began to feel that their parent’s service in Bomber Command needed to be fittingly remembered.

Perhaps a very long period of social peace in Britain has made it easier to deal with the very high losses, both within Bomber Command and of civilians under the bombs.

Source: Text from an exhibit at the International Bomber Command Centre.

View from the Handlebars

Statistics and Route

Progress

Distance -1725,8 km 7% further than I thought
Climbing 13100 metres - 2% higher than I thought.
102 hours in the Saddle 11% longer than I thought
  • Completed 1725 KM
  • 125 km More than anticipated.

Thanks

Since there is no ”Where to Tomorrow", I thought I would add a Thank You section.

  • My neighbour Vincent L for cycling with me, his words of encouragement on the blog and his top tip regarding always head to a Cemetary when you need water. This saved my bacon on a number of occasions.
  • Katie, my daughter, for spending a great 2 days keeping me company.
  • Philippe C for acting as my “Emergency Contact” and beacon watcher in France – such a shame that he was unable to join me for a few days.
  • Chris B for acting as my ‘Emergency Contact” in the UK and for hosting me and Katie one night, great food, great company and a free bicycle service – perfect evening. For Chris too, he had a back problem. Next year eh?
  • All My Air BnB Hosts: Andrée in Cluny, Brigitte in Créancey, Nathalie in Tonnerre, Janine in Veneux-les-Sablons, Isabelle in Coucelles-Sous-Thoix, Laurent in Tournehem-sur-la-Hem , Cath in Folkestone, Lise and Martin in Rochester, Rob in Maidwell and Hilary in Hungerton.
  • Monika and Guido for hosting me in Paris – great food – great company … and wet!
  • To Ralph Steiner from The de Haviland Aircraft Museum. Thanks for all the information – shame we never got to meet.
  • Fred West, Roy and all their colleagues at the Carpetbaggers Museum – Thank you for such a warm welcome, informative tour and the wealth of information you handed over.
  • Mike Hodgson and all the Team at the Thorpe Camp Visitors Centre – An excellent couple of hours spent in the company of a great Team, thanks.
  • John Gallery of MoreGiving for managing the donation portal – even when there were little problems.
  • Sylvian Labre – for his flexibility, support and speed of reaction in keeping ecrivelo.eu going.
  • Nicky Barr and all her wonderful team at the IBCC – for their support before, during and at the brilliant reception when I arrived.
  • Michael Armstrong from Lincoln BIG for all his support and organisation.
  • Mo Oliver for doing what he does best – shouting and motivating everybody.

 

To everyone who supported me during my journey, donating money, commenting on social media or on the blog and generally saying nice things and spreading the word – that motivated me no end.

  • To David Christie, nephew of FO John Christie – for all the information he gave and trusted me with.
  • Bomber Command Veterans Harry Parkin and Arthur Atkinson who gave up their valuable time to greet me when I arrived. I was so humbled by this – they are great characters – it was a pleasure to meet you.
  • Emma and all the staff at The Petwood Hotel for making me feel so Welcome.

To all the people on the road who helped me especially with providing water – and there were a lot – their kindness rekindled my faith in human nature.

  • Last but certainly by no means least, my wife Malgosia, she has been working so hard, translating text into the small hours, sharing information on social media and drumming up support in France, Poland and the USA, all at the same time as working 6 days a week and having to look after the animals. Thank you.

I hope I have done you all proud because I think together, we can all be pretty proud of our achievement.

 

Hey - What about you?

Join the conversation.

Have you any last observations or conclusions? Please feel free to make any observations you wish.

Don’t forget it’s never too late to help me help the IBCC tell stories just like the one’s I have treid to tell. – Just click on the DONATE button. Thank you.

We're exceeding the target!

  • £831 Donated over target!
  • Old Target of £2000

The Final Sum

We exceeded the target by £831.00

I remember when I started I had a target of £500, then I decided that I should increase the amount to £2000. I knew I was on track and had made a good decision when Paul Mace made a donation and wrote, a comment,”Great cause and it’ll be bloody hard work. Much better than the usual, Sponsor me for a 4 week holiday in Peru, request that we’re used to.”

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