Well, today was the day. Day 1 of the London to Paris cycle challenge.
It started early, 4:45 alarm, snoozed at least twice before getting up, quick shower and out fully kitted up for the short, uphill ride to Crystal Palace, the official start. And what a sight awaited us, 115 other riders in glorious techno colour – all supporting different charities. By all accounts, the combined total of funds raised as at this morning was £177,000. An amazing effort.
After offloading the rucksack – that was heaven – we all received a briefing from the Skyline team about what to expect. And then we were off.
I was going to say that the day flew by and to some extents it did – some great riding in the morning, a few wrong turns and great camaraderie on show. A quick stop at 26 miles and then lunch at 58 miles – perfectly timed as I was starting to flag.
After lunch, I latched on to 7/8 other guys who knew what they were doing and basically copied them. The first 20 or so miles flew by, we were averaging 20mph +, and then the organisers thought that it would be funny to throw in some serious hills – the first of which went on and on and on and nearly killed me! Thankfully the team held back and provided the encouragement that I needed to get me through to the end.
So, we arrived in Dover in good time, in great spirits, the ferry crossing went well and after another 40 minutes in the saddle, we arrived at the hotel. Quick shower and into bed – no drinking for this boy tonight, absolutely shattered but feel great to know that I’ve completed day 1 – 100 miles.