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Tanya’s made it!! Read her steps along the way…

Wednesday 17th September 2008 Claye Souilly – PARIS

Rob – navigator, cajoler, trainer, mechanic and good friend.

19.15
I would just like to thank everyone for their support on this trip.  I can’t thank Rob enough for all his efforts not just on the trip but throughout the summer to get the trip to actually happen. He really was my navigator, cajoler, trainer, mechanic and good friend all rolled into one.

I can already see the effort is being rewarded on HOPE’s Just Giving pages, but I’ll need to think long and hard before agreeing to do it again. Yes it was great fun, but there were definitely some challenges along the way.

15.42
Bikes were indeed on train. Now back in Chiswick happy to be on my sofa (its soft!)

13:03hrs
Safely on the train – got on the first one we could as they seem to be cancelling them randomly. Just hope the bikes got on the same train
Rob has just sent you a photo of me outside Notre Dame…..we did the whole journey (c 235 miles) in 21 1/5 hours. With a few sleeps in between!!!

Two towers of Notre Dame

10.40
Photo opportunity outside Notre Dame – well it has two towers and is much closer than the Eiffel Tower

10.00
Fantastic cycle into Paris along a canal – so straight, fairly flat and no need to check the map every ½ hour

07:18hrs

Legs VERY tight this morning but only have about 20 miles to Paris. Depending on the Eurostar situation we may have to get on the first train and ditch the Eiffel Tower but we have a contingency – the towers of Notre Dame which are closer to the station!

Cycle path and good weather

I do believe your prayers worked this time, not a single drop of rain the whole trip

Tuesday 16th September 2008  Gournay-en-Bray to Claye Souilly (suburbs of Paris)

19.55
Dined at a very local restaurant – the owner was so impressed with us he gave us free beer – great that should numb the pain!

18:43hrs
That last comment was definitely premature – Everything aches

17.40
Last 10k seemed to take forever and I was so looking forward to soaking in the bath – and of course our hotel only has showers!  Still a long and very hot shower later and I am starting to feel less stiff

15.55
A very brief stop for some energy bar and then on through lots of cute French villages, smiling when we eventually start to see planes from Charles de Galle airport.

12.40
This is our first stop of the day. Rob is pushing me hard today as we have a lot to do.  Now we head towards a forest

9.23
Set off along rolling farmland with dry sunny weather but a strong head wind.

7.00
So its 90 miles or so today so better go and get (another) BIG breakfast….

Monday 15th September Brighton to Gournay-en-Bray via Newhaven ferry to Dieppe

19.50
Later than planned but thankfully the hotel was expecting us and had piping hot spag bol and red wine ready.
Also struck lucky, met four cycling Brits, one of whom turned out to be an expert at trueing bike wheels!!!! (We think)

16.35
All going to plan until Rob had a few mechanical problems, firstly his shoe lost its clip and then more seriously a spoke broke and the whole wheel was buckling………..rubbing against the frame and causing him a lot of concern.  We had to slow down to stop the tyre getting hot and we literally limped the last 20 miles.

14.30
Eventually on the bikes proper with 45 miles to go……mostly along a disused railway which the French have brilliantly turned into a cycle path just for us Brits!!!

08:15hrs
After a gentle 12 miles along the coast from Brighton to Newhaven, as the sun was rising, we caught the ferry to Dieppe, also a gentle crossing.

 

Sunday 14th September 2008 Chiswick to Brighton

17:36hrs
Sitting in Rob’s kitchen in Brighton eating Jaffa cakes and smiling. Beautiful weather and so very happy to get through a fairly tough day – 75 miles or so with some climbs I’m trying to forget!

16.30ish hrs
Having managed all the other Sussex climbs I still feared Ditchling Beacon (so hard they included it in the Tour De France when it came to England).
It was a struggle, sorry for shouting Rob(!) and I got very close but 100 metres from the top I had a puncture…..close but not quite, but very happy when we got to the top.  Good job I bought a mechanic with me (see top photo)

Yum – chocolate cake

12.30ish hrsStopped at café for the biggest piece of chocolate cake (see photo).  Well cycling is one thing, cycling with panniers containing everything we need (no support car on this trip) is another.

10.30 hrs
Stop for brief photo opportunity at my favourite London landmark, Tower Bridge.

07:58hrs
Weather is………..gorgeous. Think I’m dreaming, but not a cloud in the sky. Plan to leave home about 9-9.30am so need a BIG breakfast!

Two Towers of Tower Bridge

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