Monday, September 5, 2011


The first thing to do is go through the details I suppose, just so you and I both know what is going to be happening, how long it's going to take and what the rules are.

The ride starts in Roscoff, on the north coast of France, and will go all the way through to San Sebastian in Spain. Technically the trip actually starts in Taunton, Somerset on Friday the 16th September. The ferry is from Plymouth to Roscoff, and arrives in Roscoff at 7am on Saturday the 17th. There's a high chance we'll be cycling from Taunton to Plymouth, which is about 75 miles, although this is completely weather dependant. If it's horrible weather we'll get a ride to the ferry port... lazy as that may seem, there is nothing worse than starting a long trip on a cold rainy day.

The route will take us on as direct a line across to the west coast as possible, then straight down the coast to Spain. It's not that long a ride in the scheme of things, and I don't think it's too hilly, but I must admit I haven't really checked! When I did a quick route plan on gmaps the other day I think it said the total distance from Roscoff to San Sebastian was about 600 miles.

My partner for the trip will be Lucy Pickles, I thought about just refering to her as Passepartout, but then that would make it seem like I thought I was Phileas Fogg, which I'm not, so I won't. I'll just refer to her as Lucy. Lucy is also a EFL Teacher, and has been extremely pro-active in the run up to the ride. She's done things like take her bike to be serviced, bought new wheels, learnt how to change gear cables and true wheels and generally been thoroughly spirited about the whole thing. I'm very much looking forward to having company on this trip, and hopefully all her pre-ride preparation won't mean I struggle to keep up! You can follow Lucy's blog at

Preparation for me has been fairly relaxed. I've got everything I need from the last ride so in terms of clothes and equipment I haven't had to do much. I'll be using the Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10 that carried my arse all the way down the coast of the US, and the same ortlieb panniers, 2 front 2 back, which have enough room between them to carry everything I need. Hopefully I'll have less clothes as it won't be so cold. And also I'm not taking the laptop this time. As nice as it was to have last time, it's just too much weight to carry, and as we are camping all the way there won't always be power to charge it. With this in mind I doubt I'm be updating everyday as with the last trip, but I will do so as often as possible along the way.

So other than that it's just about getting on the bike and doing it! In terms of time, it could easily be done in a week to 10 days, however we are not in a major hurry, so I would think the quickest we are likely to do it in is about 16 days. Throw in a load of good cheese, wine and lots of baguettes, and it could take a lifetime! We will see. Lets just say it's not a race.

Once again I am riding in aid of cancer research, so that gives everyone that forgot to sponsor me last time the opportunity to sponsor me this time :) you can do so by clicking here

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