Day 4 Paris or Bust!
14th June 2017
Day 4 started with a sense of anticipation and relief that we had made it this far. Neither Candice nor I are cyclists. We had trained like two people obsessed for 4 months, driving our respective families up the wall. Our aim was to make it too Paris without requiring medical attention when we arrived. At the beginning of the last day, as we stood around with our fellow riders enjoying the morning fresh air, there was an overwhelming sense of relief that all of us including Huey’s bike was going to make it too Paris.
Now that sounds all very nice. But, the truth is, I was as stiff as an Australian soap actor. I couldn’t wait to get going and get too Paris. However, I knew the first hour was going to be hell. And so it was. For the first 10 miles, which included a few of Nicks “kickers for the ticker” hills, I just couldn’t get going. My legs just would not perform in the way that I wanted them to. By the time we reached the first stop I was fed-up, grumpy and ready to throw my bike under the first passing truck. Still we only had about 50 miles to go. So it was time to mount up, show some British stiff upper lip and get on with it. Finally, after another 5 miles and just in time for a nice big hill, I began to feel better and ready for the day’s punishment.
Around 30 miles we began to enter the urban sprawl that always surrounds any major city. The endless traffic lights and junctions making the riding hard going. Like most urban sprawl, it appeared to go on for miles. Eventually we turned off and found ourselves peddling alongside the river Seine. No traffic and very few people were seen as we rode along this impressively large river flowing into the heart of Paris. Like London, a river bank ride along the Seine can be a relaxing affair. However, on this occasion we were on a mission to complete the challenge and to that end our pace had definitely quickened.
All too soon the sprint along the banks of the Seine came to an abrupt end and we found ourselves dodging the Parisian traffic heading towards the heart of the city. Roundabouts in Paris are particularly interesting. One approaches them with fear and trepidation. It would appear that the safest way is to peddle like mad and hope for the best.
A few more twist and turns and there we were, right in the heart of Paris. With the Trocadero in front of us and the Eiffel Tower looming over the square like a fighting machine from War of the Worlds. Our challenge had come to its end. We cuddled family who had come to see us cross the line. Had pictures taken and generally felt good about ourselves for a while.
We had ridden 56.2 climbed 2139ft in just over 4 hours. That made the total mileage for the week 290 miles in four days
Candice has officially retired from cycling. She will never again take to the saddle. She handed her bike over and was last seen heading towards a hotel muttering that she will never do that again. I on the other hand, am in two minds. The good news was that we raised £3000.00 for our chosen charities and despite me sounding like a grumpy old man for most of the challenge we had some fun on the way.
If you would like to see the route taken please click the link below
Blog Tags: 25 years