Made it !!!
We achieved the challenge - cycling 300 miles on our tandem from London to Paris. As you can imagine we are elated and still get that ‘buzz’ of satisfaction when we think back over the days in the saddles. But we made it, thanks to the encouragement that you gave us. Also at the start of each session we had the knowledge that together we were raising helpful cash for Christian Aid to use with people more needy than ourselves.Over the lanes of Kent and through the fields of France we enjoyed the sights and sounds of rural Europe with our fertile crops and relaxed ways of life. There were long hills and steep hills; friendly drinks breaks and great outdoor lunches. In return our sponsorship will go to other areas of the world that are experiencing the erratic effects of climate change.
As our saddle sores reminded us, this is not a cycling challenge to be taken lightly but we all enjoyed it and have our special stories to tell. Thanks again for your support,
Harvey and Barbara
JuneIt is amazing how quickly a decision made beside the fire on a cold winter evening in January becomes a hot summers reality. Since then we have increased our weekly mileage on the tandem and now seem all set for the London to Paris cycling challenge.
Not that all has been straight forward. Having not used the tandem for several years we were rusty and fell off twice in a couple of months. On the second occasion Barbara was taken to Broomfield Hospital after suffering concussion. Praises for cycle helmet designers and manufacturers without whom Barbara would not be with us now – and for all the help we received from strangers at the roadside who were fantastic.
We seriously questioned if going on with our London to Paris challenge was an option and put the matter to prayer. In response we independently got the message that we should join a club and ride with others. So Barbara got onto Google who gave us information of a CTC group who cycle out of Wickford. On the downside they meet on a Sunday Morning and that makes church difficult. On the upside they cycle for 1.5 hours and stop for a full English breakfast, go on for another 1.5 hours and stop for a pub lunch and then head home for tea… You might think that a civilised touring group?
So what are the lessons learnt? Maybe at 66 years I should stop fanaticising about being a competitive racing cyclist – at least when I am steering the tandem… On the plus side we are learning that a steady pace, company if possible, and sensible breaks, make for a successful ride and an enjoyable experience.
Now to France and learn how to do it on the other side of the road… At least we will be with a good crowd and can watch the authentic Tour de France riders do their stuff when we get to Paris.
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What are we going to do ?
Cycle a tandem – quite a lot …! Billericay, Hanningfield, Blackmore, Bradwell and everywhere…
Raise funds for Christian Aid
Cycle – London to Dover/Calais (80 miles), Calais to Arras (78 miles), Arras to Compiegne (73 miles) and Compiegne to Paris (66 miles)
The grand Cycle into Paris and the Eiffel Tower … Great!!
See the finish of the Tour de France ( get some tips from the professionals)
Home again to finish fund raising
· To prove that Billericay over 65’s can still do it – well can we?· Concerns over the effects of climate change in Bangladesh, India, Africa and South America · To raise £3,500 for Christian Aid to assist communities suffering crop failure, droughts , floods etc. to get back onto their feet again
· £55 provides training for a group of five farmers in conservation farming, meaning their families can increase the food they grow by up to 500 per cent!· £11 provides drought-resistant seeds for one family which ensures the next harvest provides them with enough food to last through the year
Nothing is straight forward. In January we committed ourselves to the 300 mile, London to Paris cycle ride.And then…. It snowed, froze and blew!! And then, when we had the sun, we fell off the tandem on the grit generated by pot holes caused by the snow and ice. Happily we are fine – bruised and still anxiously perusing the road ahead for more obstacles, but, the bulbs are coming out, the leafs budding and - its getting warmer…
MarchHopefully once Holy
Week is over, and we have recovered from our fund raising cake stall, we will
up our mileage and start on the way to getting mega fit.
Well, Holy Week is over. Harvey is back from a running injury, the sunny weather is here and …. Babs is down with a walking injury and, temporarily, cycling is off the agenda…. In the meantime we try and keep fit otherwise and remember the good rides we have been enjoying on the country roads.