Day 4 – Vernon to Paris and the Eiffel Tower!!
Stats for the day:
Total miles : 64
Total hours on bike: 5:45
Total Punctures: 0
Total crashes : 0
Geographical embarrassemnents: 1
Total beers en route : 1
Today began cooler and overcast which was welcome after the heat of the last few days! Dom the mechanic had taped the dodgy wheel to within an inch of its life, so we set off cautiously.. Hoping we wouldn’t spend all the glory day in a mess of inner tubes and chain grease!!
And so.. We promptly got lost! Luckily about 12 of us all got lost together so we formed a mini peloton and managed to navigate ourselves back onto the right route so the delay was minimal – but our reputation as attention seekers appeared to be cemented! our Mini Peloton was now the place to be and we all stuck together for the rest of the ride – taking in the sights and finally stopping at a cafe for a well earned cafe au lait break!
It was a great ride in – the mood and spirits high. a few climbs stuck in to remind us that we were cyclists and some lovely descents and straights on which to have a good mess about.. we regrouped at the Hippodrome just outside the city center and Mike finally got his beer!!
So then 73 of us rode en masse into Paris! A car in front and at the rear with flashing lights! Up the Avenue Foch, around the Arc de Triomphe and down the champs d’elysee to the Place de la Concorde! we crossed the Seine and arrived at our final destination! The Eiffel Tower!!!!
Not one crash, not one puncture… The last day we cracked it!
Total Ride was 267 miles from London to Paris.
It’s been a ride – in every sense of the word! I have loved some part of every day.. I have so emjoyed being back on my bike.. I have totally revelled in finally being better than mike at something ( although…by Day 4 I reckon he had pretty much got the measure of me!!!). The hills, the descents, the peloton mates.. Even the punctures had their own je ne sais quoi..
Mike has enjoyed himself.. It’s been hard – but he has never been afraid of hard work.. I am not sure this has turned him into a cycling fanatic.. But if I asked to him to go again – he would be up for it.
And mostly – the reasons we all rode. There have been so many stories over the last few days.. So many great charities and hearts being poured out on the road to Paris. There were ladies pushing themselves way beyond their supposed physical capacities, some people who managed it on mountain bikes (!) and one lady with terminal cancer who was riding on her 2 year diagnosis anniversary. she had been given 2-5 years to live – and was riding triumphantly whilst raising a very hearty 2 fingered salute to her cancer..
So a huge thanks to everyone who has supported us.. You have been as much a part of our ride as we have ourselves. Every penny you sponsored us, kept those pedals turning!!
PS – at the end of trip awards.. Guess who won the “chatterbox” award!! Poor Mike… I talked the whole way up all those hills! He is truly earned the sponsorship in more than just the cycling!!!!