“I wanted to let you all know that after a gruelling, 100 mile final day, we successfully completed our London to Paris charity cycle ride (in support of Marie Curie Cancer Care) at 5.00pm last Sunday – the long, winding, steep climb out of Rouen at 7.30am being a particular ‘highlight’.
With a number of pledges still to come through, I am also delighted to tell you that our current total stands at c £6,500.
A brief resume of the trip;
DAY 1 (London to Brighton)
On Friday morning,we slowly made our way through the heavy London traffic. Once out in the countryside, we had to cope in true ‘Wiggo’ style with the Olympic road race course at Boxhill. Having lost our ‘support’ van and with our sat nav systems going on the ‘blink’ we meandered aimlessly around the Surrey/Sussex countryside for hours resulting in having to complete the last 20 miles to Brighton in the dark! But there was still time for a beer.
DAY 2 (Brighton to Newhaven & Dieppe to Rouen)
What was billed as a relatively leisurely trip up the coast to Newhaven actually saw us complete ascents totalling c2,200 feet in just 10 miles so the early morning cobwebs were well and truly blown off by the time we boarded the ferry. Following an initial steep climb out of Dieppe on arrival, we were met by fantastic French roads and able to move along at pace and as one group, neither the drizzle nor a minor clash of wheels which brought the ‘peloton’ to a halt, failing to dampen the high spirits. The long, downhill arrival into Rouen in true Tour de France style really had us buzzing by the time we arrived at our hotel …. For another well-earned beer.
DAY 3 (Rouen to Paris)
The pay back for the previous evening’s sprint down into Rouen came abruptly within minutes of setting off with a steep, uphill climb, followed by an even longer and more painful one within 10 miles which, 15 hairpin bends later, fortunately opened up into a long 10 mile stretch through open French countryside, the cornfields either side providing that classic Tour de France backdrop. The group broke up as the day wore on, punctures, sat nav issues and the efforts of the two previous days all beginning to take their toll. However, the threatened heavy rain kept at bay and our 5pm arrival at the Eiffel Tower was greeted by wonderful, Parisian sunshine.