London to Lisbon Updates
Update July 21st July: Arrival!
Arrived into Lisbon! 1200 miles, 3 countries, 46 punctures, lots of ham and cheese baguettes….
You can see our arrival on SICN Portugal sicnoticias.sapo.pt/vida/article707077.ece
Update July 17th: Day off!
Planned to go waterskiing today with the Oppenheim family but too windy and sea too choppy. A poignant day for Louis, it is the 6th Anniversary of his mother's death, giving renewed purpose to the fundraising planned at the beach party and for the rest of the trip.
Arrived at the Ruban Bleu in Juan les Pins to thunder and lightning and heavy rainfall. Didn't dampen the spirits of the guests who enjoyed canapes, superb dinner and champagne under cover while listening to great duo who'd come specially from England to perform. Alastair Campbell started the auction by playing his bagpipes then handing over to Archie who did a stirring rendition of Flower of Scotland, the double busk raised 720 quid!!
Auction lots including a sculpture by leukaemia survivor Nic Fiddian-Greene and dinner with Ian Botham at Rules Restaurant together raised over 54000 pounds- thank you everyone for amazing support, the most raised per head by the charity at any auction so far!! So close to our target now, please help us get there! Next stop Portugal.
Update July 16th:
Archie sore but fine, so back on his bike today. A steady 4km climb took us to the top of our final hill in stage 2 and a stunning view of the St Tropez Bay. Descent to the coast, coast road to Golfe Juan, dodging Bastille weekend traffic- we beat the support vehicle! Rest of day swimming and eating!
Update July 15th:
Penultimate day to end of Stage 2! First day cycling with Geoff Thomas, weather good, but tricky stage because the route was on busy main roads at the beginning. As soon as we reached the first hill, Archie reached the top of climb and overshot the first bend on the downhill incurring nasty grazes to chin, arms and legs. Hospital trip to be sure he was ok. Rest of day uneventful with great long climb and a sweeping descent into Salon de Provence.
Update July 14th:
Bastille Day and Tom's Birthday, time to celebrate with fondant fancies...clearly a man of taste..not!Great today, all on top form, 100 miles easily covered at 18 miles an hour and glorious Provencale countryside..although narrowly missed the bull run in Arles! Geoff Thomas arrived in time for dinner, should be fun tomorrow! Thank you new sponsors.
Update July 13th:
A day of two halves, terrible weather and hills to start with and fantastic downhill ride at the end of the day in glorious sunshine- Geoff Thomas says it's the challenging days that you remember the most!
Update July 12th:
Our seriously defined calf muscles made the hills today less scary than we thought, all arrived safely by 5pm and although we're in a bit of a one-horse town tonight, probably the best meal so far for 10 euros! White bits now look very weird against the gloriously tanned other bits - look like we're wearing white socks when we're barefoot! Bet Geoff Thomas won't keep up with us when he joins us on Thursday! Thank you new sponsors!
Update July 11th:
First proper disaster, not bad considering we're nearly a week in. It was going to be a tough hilly day anyway, but unfortunately Louis rode in to the back of Archie which broke the de-railer mounting bracket (a first even for Darren!). Darren took off the de-railer, shortened the chain and made it a single speed bike, while Sami and Claire went in search of new part, anyone know the french for de-railer mounting bracket?- thought not! Archie named " Man of Steel" for cycling 35 miles up hills on a single speed bike until the chain finally broke. Added an extra 3 hours to the journey, 8pm finish bed by 9pm.
Update July 10th:
In bed by 8.30pm last night and it clearly did us good! 160km no problem at all for any of us apart from 3 shredded tyres...and a bit of a problem for our adult route masters not stopping in Macon! Swim and sauna before dinner, the scary hill day looks within our sights now!
Update July 9th: Late night, champagne and red wine seemed to do us all good, completed the 80 miles today at an average of 18 miles an hour and Claire and Sami have done our washing, clean kit at last and now they won't have to drive with the windows open all the time in the car! Happy Birthday Claire!
Update July 8th:
How do the Tour de France cyclists do 40-60 miles per hour in Paris?! Great experience arriving at the Arc de Triomphe, Tom managed to punch the air while cycling in horrendous traffic and baguettes never tasted so good see all the photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/63696997@N05/. Great to catch up with parents and sponsors to celebrate the end of stage one at a party at the Petit Palais thanks to sponsor Stephen Dunbar-Johnson http://www.ihtinfo.com/index.php, chatted with the Vilebrequin team www.vilebrequin.com then our sponsor (and Tom's dad!) Preben Prebenson of Close Brothers, www.closebrothers.co.uk took us all to dinner at one of Andres rugby haunts which was great fun http://www.nosancetreslesgaulois.com/FR/ not sure that champagne and red wine is the best prep for an 80 mile day!
Update July 7th:
Really great day today,in spite of strong head wind we can really begin to the feel difference in our cycling now we're getting used to long distances and only two punctures (CEO bringing huge bag of inners with her to Paris, big empty space in bag afterwards in Paris could be dangerous for an ex-fashion buyer!). Really looking forward to the Lance Armstrong feeling down the Champs-Elysees tomorrow and drinks reception courtesy of sponsor International herald Tribune.
Thank you very much new sponsors on Just Giving today.
Update July 6th:
Set off in sunshine but awful rain 30 minutes later, had to stop to put on our Specialized all-weather kit.
Four punctures today, ordered more inners to be brought to Paris! Great French scenery and unexpected bonus (?!) of lunch with 200 pensioners- took 2 hours to be served and was criticised by CEO for not passing collecting bucket round!-feel sorry for her fundraising team.
Article in the Times today and lots more donations on the website.
Update July 5th:
Great send off with Boris Johnson and Alastair Campbell, also met Geoff Thomas ex-England footballer who is famous for cycling the Tour de France 2 years after he'd had a bone marrow transplant for chronic myeloid leukaemia.
Thank you so much to family, friends and sponsors for supporting us today.Only two team punctures on the way to Dover and we were so ahead of schedule that we caught an earlier ferry. Beer, pasta and steak tasted so good!
London to Lisbon - July 2011
Two European capital cities, 1600 miles apart (give or take) by bike.
In July 2005 my mother, Lily Metcalfe, following a three year struggle, died from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. I hate that it took her. In May 2010 Frankie Whitehead, the grandmother of Tom, one of my fellow cyclists, also died from leukaemia.
Sadly this is a disease that still affects so many people and the suffering is horrible. Therefore, we all agreed to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and see what we could do to help put an end to the disease.
Originally I had thought about doing the more normal London to Paris ride, but I heard that someone had run London to Lisbon. This sounded like it would be a much bigger and therefore a better challenge. Also, now my family has good connections in Lisbon and it seemed a good place to end up, as we often go there for part of our holidays.
I am being joined by three friends from school: Tom, Archie and Harry. Last year, when we all agreed to undertake this, we all rowed together in an VIII. Rowing is an intense sport. We got to know each other very well and you learn what it is to rely on each other and act as a team.
The journey we will cover will be in high summer in some of the hottest parts of western Europe. It will certainly be the greatest single physical challenge that anyone of us has ever done before, and possibly will ever do. Luckily we can take courage for the fact that what we are doing is for a very noble cause.
We will be spurred on by the fact that we have the full support of our family, friends and loved ones.
We are truly thankful for all of our corporate sponsors, helping us to raise money for our cause. The headline donations from these companies and other anonymous donors has already reached £50,000, which is just fantastic! I hope that we manage to raise a great deal of money by doing this and that we raise awareness for the charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, which does such great things in this world.
All the best,
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