The big 21! Peterborough-Northampton-MK Dons-Luton!
So, let’s get into the dirty of it today, a hell of a journey from Peterborough down to Luton via 2 very hospitable football clubs.
Over 2,100 kilometres cycled now, so I’ve got some better tinder pictures to work with after all this exercise. If I don’t come out of this looking like Peter Andre in the bloody 90’s im going to seriously kick off, although knowing my luck ill end up with the lower torso and legs of the incredible hulk and the top half of Mr Bean.Leaving Peterborough was a tough ride in the wind. Ive been made aware that other people who do this type of activity have a convoy of ‘support cars’. Well its just me and my bike out there so lucky for them. If I could just give someone the nod and they’d nip to waitrose for me then thats what I call a luxury, the only time I have a long convoy of cars behind me is when I’m cycling on an A road.
Northampton, a ground that surprised me, it was actually really smart, another one of these proper community grounds that doesn’t profess to be bigger than its own entity.
Which, if you look closely, bears their self penned motto ‘Big City lights don’t bother me, Northampton Town I’m #proudtobe. Proper, I like it.
Humble and down to earth, now we are talking. I can’t believe it only cost £6,000,000 to build, when in terms of paying for a stadium is dirt cheap. For that money they got a bargain. You can buy about 60 houses by me, or 1 in London and looking at the most expensive food in the premier league, you can also get 857,143 burgers at West Ham. Talking of which, the ‘Cobblers’ as they are known due to the town being famous for mending shoes, have your grub covered.
And an isolation room should you come down with covid. Or everyone else does.
Oh, and the most bizarre sign ive ever seen at a football stadium. Ever.
The staff were great, so thank you if I spoke to you. I’ve been very blessed with the help from some clubs. At this point I want to thank Derby County for sending me a pair of signed football boots to auction off for charity, this a class touch. Talking of hospitality, the kindness was only just beginning for the day.
I made my way to Milton Keynes next, a stunning ride, by which I mean it was flat, that culminated with a HUGE, brilliant stadium with brilliant staff to boot.
Stadium MK houses a full on Hilton Hotel at the front. Now that’s how big it is. Situated on a shopping mecca, not only can you watch football there, you can also sleep there and if your short of inspirational clobber, then Primark is legit a 30 second walk.
I don’t know if its cheating or not, but I did compile a list of most expensive burgers at football last week, but stadium MK probably does have the most expensive cuisine, considering they also house a Marco Pierre White restaurant.
They also host the Championship League Snooker and music concerts (obviously when covid buggers off) with big stadium productions of bands like Rammstein, Rod Stewart, the Black Eyed Peas, Foo Fighters and heavy metal rock act One Direction. This stadium is the Swiss army knife equivalent of a football ground, it does everything.
So do the staff. Ive been to nearly 50 clubs now on this journey and when the staff go the extra mile in such difficult times, it makes one hell of a difference. Imagine cycling over 50 miles to a club only to get told the staff are uninterested in helping. At this point, I have to thank the staff at the stadium and in particular, Jacqui, who took my pics, offered me food and water for my trip AND donated to the cause. The club also donated meaning they are now one of the most generous clubs out there.
To Jacqui, who went above and beyond and the staff who also donated, those gestures mean the world, so thank you.Jubilantly on I made my way to championship newcomers Luton Town. One of the more intriguing clubs I’ve been to in terms of how the ground is integrated into its surroundings.
Kenilworth Road, you have to cycle up around 3 different housing streets to see it properly. The entrances are even fixed between houses like they are tucked away.
Good luck driving anywhere on match days if you live in that street.
Humble, rustic, no frills, no nonsense, Kenilworth Road is the kind of stadium that I love to see on the road. From the beheamouth that is MK to the subtle, understated Luton Town stadium, its a hell of an experience. But this is what I love about it.
Theres a hell of a lot to romanticise about the stadium, parked slap bang in the middle of the community, with a humble lick of paint and a portacabin for a club shop.
This is proper grass roots and to see them in the championship is incredible.
Get in Luton.
To everyone spreading the word and supporting me, it means the world. To Derby County for sending me some signed boots to auction, to the kindness at MK, it all helps the charities we are supporting.
So thank you 🙂
Because the stigma surrounding mental health needs to be kicked out.
Onto the next ‘un!