The countdown has officially begun. Just seven days left until I set off on my bike adventure from Cardiff to Chamonix and I’m feeling good. Training has gone well and I’m mentally ready for what’s coming up. I’m under no illusion that this ride is going to push me to new physical and mental limits, but I think that’s part of the reason why I’m doing it, so bring it on.
Since my last blog post I’ve managed to hit my fundraising target which has been pretty staggering. The support I’ve gained from family, friends and strangers has been overwhelming. I’m still hoping to raise a bit more cash and hope that the final amount creeps towards £1500. If you have some loose change, feel free to donate it here!
The last couple of weeks has been spent getting organised and looking at my route in more detail. Each day will involve something in the region of 55-70 miles of riding which I’ll be breaking down into 20-mile-ish sections. The fabulous people at Michelin Maps have been super-supportive and gave me 50% off my order of maps for the Paris to Chamonix journey.
I don’t want to waste any energy or time by getting lost so these 1:150,000 maps will come in extremely handy as I wind my way through south east France. I’m absolutely sure that I’ll still get lost but that will be part of the adventure. While researching my route the other day, I found an incredible way through Burgundy down the Canal de Bourgogne. I emailed the tourism office and within a few days they sent me a map of the route. As long as I find my way out of Paris okay, I’m looking forward to following the canal towpath through to Dijon.
I’ve also received great support from DFDS Seaways for the crossing from Newhaven to Dieppe who have given me 50% off the cost. Once again, I’m humbled by people who are happy to help with this trip.
On Saturday I picked up Emma Timmis‘ touring bike and adventure kit. Emma has kindly loaned me this stuff so that I didn’t have to go out and buy a tonne of kit for this trip. ‘Bertha’ was loaded up and brought back to Wales and will be coming on the trip as a spare bike in case anything happens to ‘Alpy’ the Alpinestars.
Alpy is loaded up with Bertha’s rear panniers now and I’ve borrowed an extra water bottle cage from Bertha too. I don’t think there are many people out there who would willingly hand over their bike and equipment to a complete stranger to use so I’m truly grateful to Emma for this opportunity. Emma has been on some great adventures which are really inspiring so check out her blog here.
Today I’ve attempted to pack and I’m about 75% of the way there. As the week goes on I’ll put more essential stuff to one side that has to come with me on my bike for the first three days of the trip. On Wednesday 11th May I’ll be in Newhaven where I’ll be reunited with my partner and our Border Collie who will be in the support van. The van will also be the accommodation, kitchen and repair garage for the rest of the journey.
So, that’s it for now. Final few days of training and planning then I’m off!