Day 30 – Reading-Crawley-Brighton!
What to say about this ride. Now, this was one of those rides that stick in the memory for a long time. Strap yourself in, this is gonna be painful. All 140 kilometres of it.
After leaving reading I made my way to Crawley. Aptly named because it felt like a bloody crawl. It was all plain sailing up until Ascot, which looks lush by the way
Anyways, whilst debating to pull a cheeky trip to nearby legoland, I rode over something that ironically was the biking equivalent of stepping on lego, the most painful experience known to man and woman kind, but just for my bike. The tyre split and I went through 8 inner tubes trying to get to the nearest bike shop. Which was gloriously shut. So I had to cycle through 11 miles of A road until I reached a Halfords. In the rain. With 1 inner tube left. Yep.
Look at this image
After today id rather look at my exes wedding pics.
Talking of the number 11, its very significant to this journey. 11 miles to go until i could buy new tyres. Approximately 11 seconds in to the A Road and my last inner tube blew up. Approximately 11 swear words were said every 0.11 seconds and 11 days worth of rain fell in 11 minutes.
I had to cycle that last 11 miles with one tyre, which, in the rain with cars bombing past you is one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. Its safer slapping Mike Tyson and calling him a pussy than this, trust me. I couldn’t get over 7mph, I had little control and I swear my arse needs reconstructive surgery after this little jaunt on a road somewhere around West Byfleet.
But these things are all part of the journey. It would have been easier to just get a bloody uber out of there but that’s not the point of this. I ain’t going to be cheating no one so I ploughed through. No one saw the struggle, but I had to do it to prove that peoplecan do anything. Times like this you just have to tell yourself that these testing times show you that giving up is not an option when you are struggling. Well that and its OK, you can always have a sit down cry in a premier Inn shower later.
So after a bike service I made my way down to Crawley. Bloody hell was I glad to see it after all that too. Fair play i love the contrast between grounds. Its easy to bypass teams like Crawley when it comes to prominent football league clubs,mainly due to the fact they actually only turned professional in, wait for it……..2005!
Lets put that into context. If you were born in 2005 you wouldn’t be legally allowed to smoke yet. In 2005 Liverpool won the champions league, James Blunt was number 1 with You’re Beautiful and Prince Harry went to a party dressed as a Nazi. So yeah most people would have scrapped it from memory as being a bit of a write off.
Oh and in 2006, just one year later, Crawley went into administration 🤷♂️
This meant a 10 point penalty. Not good when you are a new club struggling to stay in the football league. The club won their first 3 games though to all but wipe that penalty out. They even missed relegation by gaining the point they needed on the last game of the season. Cue ticker tape in Crawley. Then, at the end of the season, the club announced they were debt free 🥳
Oh and then irregularities stemming from the initial debts arose and they were given a 6 point penalty for the next season. 😕
Ah, not quite done there, they were also given a transfer embargo. 🤦♂️
Its ok though as in 2008 a company called Prospect Estate Holdings took control of the club. According to an online article written at the time, “The club’s financial worries were over and the club could look to build again and start the 2008–09 season on a level playing field”
Worth noting at this point that just over a year later in 2010, the club ended up in the high Court with a winding up order 😭
I feel I’ve adequately described the clubs history using emojis. Crawleys history is like an episode of bloody Eastenders.
Then it all goes a bit freaky at the club. In a good way. Not freaky as in Freddie Kruger, freaky as in get your freak on, urban terminology for ‘to have a good time’. Ive tried to describe it in a nice way in case theres kids reading. The case was chucked out, the council all of a sudden agreed to lease them the Broadfield Stadium, new investors Bruce Winfield and Susan Carter decided to have a party signing 23 players. This is whilst they were in the conference. You spend the money they were spending down there you’re gonna go up. Its like rockerfella shopping in lidl.
And they’ve been in the football league ever since.
😊💪👍⭐🔥😚☺🙂😆 etc etc
Nice stadium fir league 2 as well. They’ve even decorated the roundabout by the stadium with a big football motif. Unless its like Xmas decorations and they’ve either forgot to take it down or can’t be arsed. Looks good though.
Its one of those stadiums that looks like an old school football stadium, part of its appeal.
The Peoples Pension Stadium as its known for sponsorship purposes holds 6,134 people, so you can have an idea of its relative size, although the average attendance for the 2018-19 season was only 2,290. Just over a third of their ground.
Pitch is looking spot on mind you.
There’s no point in looking at this years. Carlisle and Forest Green are smashing it as the most supported teams in the league after trial events enabled them to have some fans.
These blogs are a place for learning. You can now tell your mates that Forest Green have a higher average attendance than Real Madrid and Juventus.
So, time to move on to Brighton, party mecca apparently. As I got here at night, ill do the stadium first thing as I move across the south coast.
Saturday night is mad in Brighton by the way. I saw 40 people queuing outside wetherspoons at 9.15pm. These are thirsty people.
But at least, knowing this, you can tell your mates that Wetherspoons Brighton has a bigger average attendance this season than Real Madrid and Juventus…
Thank you for your continued support. The journey is nearly finished but your donations mean the world for these charities so keep them coming. Actually don’t take my word for it, take legend Paul Chuckles word for it.
Take it easy out there.
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