It’s been quite some time since the last post so I shall give a quick update.
We were all euphoric at having finished this epic journey and were pretty proud of ourselves – in short it had been a great challenge and experience. We rode through some amazing countryside and pushed ourselves to extreme limits at times. It certainly is an adventure we will remember forever. Strangely, after 10 days of constant cycling my body was adapting to the effort and I felt it was possible at that stage to carry on, which I was really pleased about. However, saying that, it took over a week to recover once I got home (including the dreaded jet-lag of course!).
Sadly, three days after we got back from Los Angeles, Craig was involved in a major car accident. Being the incredible fighter that he is, Craig pulled through some incredibly dark moments and we are so happy that his life is getting back on track.
We are still cycling as a group and a selection of us go out most weekends. Being part of the group gives us accountability to each other which is motivating – together with the lure of a good breakfast when we stop part-way through the ride!
Last year’s adventure was a cycle ride along The Garden Route in South Africa, which, for various reasons I didn’t take part in. Richard P, Alan and David all had an amazing experience and at the same time raised significant funds for the specialist unit at Homerton Hospital that treated Craig.
My challenge for this year is to cycle from London to Paris. This is around 280 miles in 4 days, which will most certainly be a short, sharp, shock!
The group this time is me, Richard P, Alan, David and Keith. What a motley crew! There will also be two others in our group who will meet the night before we leave.
The trip is from 18 – 21 June starting from Greenwich and ending under the Eiffel Tower. The itinerary is as below:
Day 1 : London to Calais – 84.3 Miles
7.00 am start (meet at 6.30 am)
The route takes in Greenwich park, Shooters Hill and then follows the Thames corridor through to Dartford. From there we will skirt Maidstone passing through Coxheath, Lenham and over the Kent Downs towards Folkstone. From Folkstone we follow the coast northward to Dover. The finish time is aimed to be around 4.30 pm followed by the ferry crossing.
Day 2 : Calais to Abbeville – 75.8 miles
9.00 am start
The route is rolling countryside on minor roads. From exiting Calais via the old town centre we travel south through the national park area over good roads and undulating terrain. Some areas are exposed to wind and poor weather conditions. Road surfaces are generally good and the chance to stop at the road side plentiful. After this the route heads out into the country on good roads passing through numerous small villages and passing a very pretty windmill with a crepe shop attached. Here the roads are narrower with some pot-holes and loose surface gravel.
Day 3 :Abbeville to Beauvais – 63.5 miles
9.00 am start
Starting with a ride through the town centre then again out into open countryside headed generally south all day. The roads used are in good condition although narrow and single lane in places and then follow the river valley passing beneath the viaduct only 20 minutes out from the town. The last section of the day runs along D316 & D7 to Beauvais. The road is rough around Moliens and on exiting Crillon there is a short steep downhill before a left turn to head to Beauvais.
Day 4 :Beauvais to Paris – 52.8 miles
10 am start
The going is undulating, yet again, following the river course to South East until reaching Mouy. After this the group needs to stick quite closely together as they approach Paris and once we have entered the city proper. There are some very steep, winding descents that take you into the outskirts of Paris. On crossing the river and making our way through the Bois de Boulogne and then to the Trocadero for fantastic views of the Eiffel Tower. We will then take the final ride down beneath the tower, along the Seine, then onto the Place de Concord and up the Champs Elyses with a victory lap for the brave ones around the Arc de Triumph.
That’s all for now, there will be more detail as the next the journey unfolds!!