It is Sunday August 21st and only a few hours before the PBP begins. Tim has asked me (SJ) to type this entry, as he is still in bed and has a lot to sort out. Argh,,,
Monday was the last training day that Tim undertook. He met up with Ron and Sarah M and did a mountain bike trek to WebheathWoods and back, via Morton Stanley Park and Arrow Vale. They were like 3 town rats. Tim just hopes this training was enough and says he could not find time for any more.
Tuesday and Wednesday was mostly spent working and worrying. Tim worried about his challenge and I worried with the thought of driving through Paris. Much to worry about.
Thursday was the day our trip began. We did not reach Paris, but we fully loaded my car with all our stuff (clothes, bike bits, bike, malt loaf, etc) and reached London. We stayed in London over night and headed for the ferry at 5.30 am. the following morning.
Travelling down the motorway on Friday was interesting - we saw a giant T-Rex and hid buddy whizzing up the other side of the carriage way! Luckily he didn't smell the malt loaf and try to eat us. We made it to the ferry just in time. At the ferry we had much to worry about, I had to fix headlamps, attach GB sticker, etc and hope that my Sat Nav would work ok in France. The ferry took us from Dover to Calias with no major issues.
Touched French soil and I had the nervous excitement of driving on the wrong side of the road for 220 miles till we reached our hotel just outside Paris. We then met up with Chris Orange and his son Ben for something to eat. Sadly there were no frogs legs on the menu for Ben.
(Still in bed, Tim writes the last few lines)...
A big big thanks to SJ for being my no.1 support and bringing me here to France. SJ has really been a star and has had to suffer about 6 months of constant 'bike abuse' where I have spoken about little else and spent much time pedaling. She has been awesome in helping me prepare and supporting me in thick and thin. Big shout out to Chris Orange too (and his son Ben) for travelling to France and offering me extended support. Chris also trained some events with me. Big thanks to all my training buddies, family and friends and thanks to you reading this. An extra big big thanks to all those who have sponsored me too.
Ok, back to France. On saturday, SJ, Chris, Ben and I did the proper tourist thing and went to look at the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph and stand on the Chands Alysees. This was a nice relaxing morning out. The evening was a wee bit more stressful - SJ and I took my bike to get checked. Mostly French speaking folk twiddled with bits on my bike whilst SJ and I had to suffer the hot sun (about 30 C). The bike guys needed proof that my front wheel rotated, that I had lights that had a onstant mode and proof I had a reflective vest. I didn't have a vest, but had a ticket for same. Following bike check we had to collect vest, jersey and bandana from various stalls. Time counsuming and hot. SJ had to visit the 'support' stall too and get stickers for her car. The guy giggled at SJ and said 'good luck' which we both found quite disturbing. Whoa, had finally got my brevet card, a medal for my SR series, a timing chip and my frame number, which is 5631! We visited a stall and purchased some glasses, a cap and some shoe covers too. After this task, we hooked back up with Chris and Ben and had a pizza/pasta meal. Chris gave me some flapjacks (sorry Ben) and a few gels, wished me well and we all went to sleep not long after.
Morning came. Argh, the day of PBP. SJ started to type, I took over and now must go, less than 6 hours to get up, shower, prepare, load, eat and then, who knows .....
Weekly totals: Cycled 18 miles
Sunday, 21 August 2011
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