If you hadn't already read, our 5 friends have complete the journey from Bristol to Barcelona. They arrived on schedule, after 10 days of riding through France & Spain, completely unsupported, on fixed gear bikes, an outstanding achievement, and we couldn't be more proud of them. They kept us updated with photos & a brief insight into each day, we didn't get time to post it all as it happened, but here is an insight into the adventure, from the guys themselves. Please don't stop donating to their chosen charity here.
Day 1 - Bristol to Plymouth: 127 miles, 2 punctures, 1 broken chain whip and a pilgrimage to Buckfast Abbey. Next stop Roscoff, Brittany.
Day 2 - Roscoff to Lourient: 94 miles.
Day 3 - Lourient to Nantes: 122.5 miles in blistering 37 degree heat. Along the way we assisted an old man who couldn't start his motorbike, bumped into the Tour De France lead-out car and it only took us 11 hours (after a few wrong turns) to reach our destination only to find the hotel had stopped serving food - roll on La Rochelle!
Day 4 - Nantes to La Rochelle: 98.8 fairly flat miles through the lovely French countryside. Hit 35+ degrees again, Cuff gave us a impromptu skipping lesson as he's concerned he's not getting enough exercise and Al introduced himself with the French roadside foliage... twice. Finished off the day with muscles in La Rochelle harbour. Another big day tomorrow!
Day 5 - La Rochelle to Bordeaux: 124 miles. Met some lovely people whilst traveling through the beautiful vineyards of Bordeaux. The 3 mile long bridge on google maps over the Gironde we all got quite excited about... turned out to be a ferry! Lost Noddy with 30 miles to go and spent an hour searching for him while he carried on to our destination culminating in an 1.5 hour sprint into town to finish the day. 14 hours in the saddle.
Day 6 - Bordeaux to Agen: 90.7 miles through the beautiful Bordeaux vineyards followed by rolling hills and pine forests providing some welcome shelter from the unforgiving sun. We discovered that there is no indication whether a road is a 'normal' tarmaced road or a farm dirt track on google maps. The 'varied' route included broken terracotta tiles, rocks and hidden potholes. Miraculously no punctures today. The miles are starting to take their toll on our bodies and bikes - only four days to go!
Day 7 - Agen to Castelnaudary: 111 miles. After receiving amazing generosity from Gouthier and his father who managed to fix Andy's bike after his bag bracket snapped, we headed down the canal cycle path towards Toulouse with our new bike bells, gifts from Gouthier. Had a brief stop in Toulouse for some dinner before making a 500m sprint to catch the last place serving food before it closed. Ended up in a lock-in at McDonalds while they played french techno. Tomorrow is a short day; at last!
Day 8 - Castelnaudary to Gruissan: 71.4 miles. Scenery has changed from vineyards to rolling rocky hills. Arrived early to enjoy the pool and beer at the hotel. At last some time to enjoy the place we've arrived at and its Stu's birthday! Just out for a steak and some buckfast... all going well The day after tomorrow we will arrive in Barcelona!
Day 9 - Gruissan to Figueres: 100 miles. A day of dramatic failures for the team starting with thunder and our first taste of rain followed by a bad route recommendation from a local rider sending us down a path with grass up to our saddles, rocky gravel surfaces and finally wet CLAY before we had to turn around and go back to where we started adding 3 hours to our riding time! Subsequently we proceeded to clock up a double blowout, a broken spoke, a buckled back wheel, and a puncture on top of it all. We finally made it over the Pyrenees to the border and into España- tomorrow we hit Barcelona!
10 - Figueres to Barcelona: 94.7 miles through the beautiful Catalonian
mountains to arrive at our final destination. In total we have cycled
1,036.5 miles, turned over our pedals 294,617 times, covered 31,866 feet
of climbing and met some people who restored our faith in humanity and
generosity over the last 10 days. Thank you to everyone who has shown
their support over our journey; every message of support has propelled
us along our way. Also thank you for all your donations - we will
shortly re-post the link to our donations page. Now to enjoy Barcelona!
Over and out.