Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
Well that's that! Mission accomplished, London to Paris Bike ride completed at about 4pm on Saturday 20th July, on yet another hot, sunny day, under the Eiffel Tower.
Having cycled over to Bexleyheath on Tuesday 16th with panniers containing my clothes, etc, for the trip, to stay overnight with a friend, I was ready to set off, (no luggage to carry this time thank goodness), with about 140 others, riding for various charities, at 7:00 am on Wed 17th, from the Bexley start point.
We had to get to Dover to catch the 5:25 pm ferry to Callais, so the early start was advisable. Once we were out in the Kent countryside, the ride became very pleasant. Lovely weather, beautiful countryside and picturesque villages. I arrived in Dover at about 2 pm, so plenty of time to relax and regroup until we cycled en masse onto the ferry. Just 90 minutes later and we were in France. Then a few miles further and we reached our overnight stop.
Day 2, 30C still, great scenery, 75 miles, and we were in Arras. Day 3, same again, and we reached Compiegne. This involved riding through the Region of the Somme and the route took us past many war memorials and military cemeteries which was a very poignant and moving reminder of what went on in this beautiful part of the world during WW1. Day 4, and we reached our destination. It took a while to account for all the riders at our assembly point in front of the Pompidou centre, before we set of as one group to ride down the Champs Elysees, then on to the finish at the Eiffel Tower. We must have played havoc with the traffic, but were well received by drivers and pedestrians alike. It was very uplifting.
A couple of 'plastics' of slightly warm Champagne and a 'gold' medal each, some meeting and greeting between riders and partners, etc, and we rode off to our final overnight stop.
After a pleasant day on Sunday 21st mooching around Paris, the 8:40 pm (local time) Eurostar conveyed me back to St Pancras, arriving at 10 pm. A trifling 2hrs and 20 mins later!!! I was delighted to be met by a small band of cheering supporters who, in spite of my protests and insistence that I wanted to ride home (..........and if you believe that........) they whisked me, my luggage, and my trusty bike back to Barnet.
So, total mileage 326. The extra training that I did really paid off, I made good time (it wasn't a race, but, you know how it is), and got up some testing climbs without too much trouble.
On the all-important fund raising effort, I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the response and generosity that my appeal has received. The total online and offline figure stands at £6328 today. There were anonymous donations, and donations from people that I don't know. Hopefully they will revisit this page out of curiosity, because it is the only way that I can thank them.My own donation covers the organiser's costs, there's no way that I wanted supporter's sponsorship money to cover my ‘Trip’.
I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to do this for such a worthy charity as 'noah's ark children's hospice' and so grateful for the support given to me to help me achieve something really worthwhile in Hilary's memory.