Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Au Revoir Paris!

We had a 10 am start today. Challenge of the day - getting out of the hotel car park!!AublflYlbHWEuieoSY98dg0Irix9

We travelled via Versailles and then followed what Tom suggested was the safest route into the centre of Paris. These were all designated cycle routes with traffic calming measures - try telling that to the vehicles!

We arrived at the Eiffel Tower with cheers from our family. We had finally made it! πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…!AublflYlbHWEuibEU5E2HVC_9k5v

We had our lunch and then it was time to enjoy some of the iconic sites of Paris. My parents and my sister joined me in the long queue to go up the lifts to the top of the tower. (I wasn't going to use the stairs!)

Satellite view from the top of Eiffel Tower of Tom & Ronnie's position!
This took us quite a while and by the time we came back, Tom and Ronnie looked tired and so was I! 😴😴😴. We were planning to cycle to more of the sites but decided the Batobus (river bus) was the best way to see the sites in the short time that we had.

We were glad the captain allowed the bikes on the boat !
We passed some important buildings passed like Le MusΓ©e du Louvre, but the saddest sight was definitely La Notre Dame, which has recently been severely damaged by fire. We could still see the huge amount of scaffolding around it and of course it was minus the spire.

La Notre Dame still standing.
Off the Batobus at La Place de la Concorde, we cycled the last 1.5 miles down the Champs-Γ‰lysΓ©es, which is the main shopping street in Paris. We had our final ice-cream feast at Haagen Dazs, before riding the last few hundred metres to the train station at the Arc de Triumph.

Final photo in Paris - Au Revoir!
On our way back on the train, it finally hit us ... au revoir Paris!

All I can say is a massive thank you to my friends and family, and the supporters who have read the blog and donated money. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Encore un fois? Only if my dad cycles with me! Now I'm going to sleep for a very long time!

Bonjour Paris!

It was our last leg today and we made an early start from Saint-Germain-en-Laye heading towards our final destination - the Eiffel Tower in Paris! En route, we went to the Versailles Palace via some very busy roads with narrow bike lanes which would never pass health & safety at home!!! 😏

From there on, it was mostly downhill and Tom (our leader) took a casual approach to traffic rules ignoring several red lights just like the locals did. As they say, "When in Paris, do what the Romans do!" 😎 We made our final approach along the river cycle path which brought us to the French copy of our Blackpool tower - they call it Eiffel here!

After a few embarrassing hugs and kisses from our welcome party (our family), we enjoyed another sumptuous picnic which we have become accustomed to while in France. Nathan and his family went up the Eiffel tower after lunch while we enjoyed a well-deserved snooze under a shady tree.

Thank you everyone for sponsoring us and sending kind messages. πŸ’–

Mum, I want a new laptop please for all the hard work you put me through! I am looking forward to waking up at 3 pm every Saturday again! 😴😴😴

As close as we can get to Versailles without walking!

La Seine Musicale - performing arts theatre.

We can see the Eiffel Tower & the Statue of Liberty - we're close!
We made it; 220 miles conquered!!!

The full tower!
Our welcome party!

Picnic by the Eiffel Tower to celebrate! πŸ’–

Our cycling at France officially ended at the Arc de Triumph!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

It's all about the Monet, Monet, Monet! ... and through the rain along the Seine ... and finishing the day in St. Germaine.

If cycling to Paris was not enough, to make sure the educational value of this trip continued, we stopped by La Maison de Monet and Jardin d'eau at Giverny just a few miles out of Vernon. He painted most of his famous works of art there. Just wish it wasn't raining! It makes it difficult to appreciate art!

Are the flowers brighter than our vests?
Monet's Japanese water garden.
After being told that it was going to be one of the shorter rides of the trip, we took a minor detour via Les Mureaux, which added a few miles! It was still mostly in the general direction of the Seine into Paris. You could see that the French countryside was being steadily replaced by French city and the French rain was replaced by hail! Check out today's ride in 3D -

Chateau La Roche-Guyon, a few miles after Giverny.
"Clouds approaching us". All hail Claude Monet!
Surprise of the day: Monet's water garden is still beautiful in the rain!
Challenges of the day: Is it ever going to stop raining? Is it ever going to stop hailing?

We were glad to make it finally to St Germaine, which is on the outskirts of Paris, near Versailles. Not quite Paris but almost there. Tomorrow we cycle into central Paris and see the iconic sites!

Distance: 48.5 miles
Duration: 8 hours

Monday, 27 May 2019

Going bananas but not 'in-Seine'!

After a hearty breakfast in the morning, we cycled through the forests and out of Rouen; we crossed the River Seine and saw an Ikea! Then came the big climb of the day! It was a mere 40 metres high!!! πŸ˜• We arrived in Les Andelys to a fab picnic spread arranged by our family.

Challenges of the day: Waking up in the morning. We were so tired & sleepy!!! 😭
Surprises of the day: Tom says I have stopped complaining! 😊

Thanks to the seven scoops of ice-cream & the frogs legs I ate for dinner yesterday at a local Chinese buffet, (I had to get my money's worth!), I felt better prepared for all the hills today!

Distance covered: 46 miles
Duration: 5.5 hours

Setting off from our B&B in Rouen.

Going bananas on the Seine.

End of the big climb of the day. No sweat!
Famous EU gravel trains that Farrage keeps banging on about!
Picnic with our family in Les Andelys.
Nearing Vernon.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Faire du vΓ©lo Γ  Rouen.

After arriving at Dieppe overnight on the ferry, despite reclining chairs, we were bone tired. After trying to get a little more sleep in the car, Ronnie practised his fluent GCSE French (!) to get breakfast from a boulangerie. After filling up, we were able to tackle the French countryside, mostly French farmland, but fortunately not too hilly.

We realised that French drivers are asked to be careful of cyclists - they have more signage. We made a pit-stop in a cafe in Auffay for some chocolat chaud avec patisserie. After that, we cycled a bit more and met up with our parents; they treated us to a sumptuous picnic lunch.

We made it to Rouen in good time despite a bit of rain. As a final challenge, we had to climb a whole load of steps with our bikes to get on the bridge over the River Seine!

Glad to finish another day. 3 more days to Paris!

Distance covered: 47.3 miles
Duration: 7 hours
Off we go at Dieppe...

We were hoping for presents but apparently not likely!

Climbing up to the bridge at Rouen.
Crossing the River Seine at Rouen.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Leaving UK & the Brexit woes behind...

Today was the day I was going to find out if all my hard work had paid off. I've made it all the way to Newhaven in one piece so hopefully France will not be a problem!

Tomorrow I find out what the French people think about Brexit! Check out today's ride in 3D -

Distance covered: 50 miles
Duration: 6 hours

At the scare-crow fest in Ardingly.

He was stuck!

Cycling through Lewes.

Waiting for Ferry at Newhaven.

The boys have set off...

The boys have set off today as planned. They will be cycling from Wallington to Newhaven where they will taking an overnight Ferry to Dieppe. All the best boys! πŸ‘πŸ’“

Waving the boys off from Wilson's!

Ronnie & Nathan - raring to go!

They are off...!
The final goodbyes!

Friday, 24 May 2019

'Bum Butter' for happy bums!

It's the night before the wave off; I took a sneak peak to see what's going on. The boys seem calm, cool and collected about their 220 mile jaunt. HOWEVER, look what I found!!! πŸ˜‰

The adventure is obviously not as glamorous as you think; 220 miles of continuous cycling has it's peril and apparently 'Bum Butter' is the answer for happy bums and not sandwiches - says our leader Tom!

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Wilson's to Brighton!

Follow our 'Wilson's to Brighton' ride on 3D at

Today was the final training ride and where better to go than sunny Brighton! (I'd rather not talk about the British weather during our ride there!) As usual, Tom promised us a flat ride which in Tom speak meant four great big hills!!! Like good Wilson's boys, we did not complain at all until we saw the big green wall of the South Downs!
Big green hill on the South Downs!
Nathan & I cycled to the peak for a photo-opportunity (for my Mum of course; apparently she needs some to raise money for Wilson's PFA! 😏) The car behind us complained bitterly but we kept calm and carried on - like true Wilsonian's!!! This is the iconic Ditchling Beacon.
When there's road rage, stay calm & carry on!!!
At the Brighton Pavilion.
We made it to Brighton! 😊 It's Paris next!!!

Our parents met us in Brighton for lunch which was a very sensible way to end such a long ride because we were starving! No more cycling training now. The real adventure begins soon....

Distance covered: 45.5 miles
Duration: 4.5 hours