Thank you for visiting my Cancer Research UK Cycle 300 page. This September, before the end of the month, I will attempt to complete 300 miles on my bike for Cancer Research UK from Jericho in Oxford. My main effort will be concentrating on making a journey to the Eiffel Tower in Paris beginning at St Pancras in London on September 16th. This will account for a fairly large proportion of the 300k, but I will also be creating a record of the training I do and the stages of the journey.
1 September. To begin at the beginning. Below you will see a photograph of me holding what I have of my bike so far. Just the frame. (Click on the photo to reveal the full beauty!) It dates from the 1980s and was hand built by a well known maker called Dave Marsh. I hope that I will be able to build it into something more substantial
Next to me is Thomas Hardy, a keen cyclist, and his Rover Cob bicycle. In 1896 he said, “I have almost forgotten that there is such a pursuit as literature in the arduous study of bicycling!”
September 2: Wonderful Indian summer day. Short training ride from Oxford to Abingdon and back: 16 miles on Fuji fixed wheel bike. See photo below!
Sept. 3: Another 16 miles to Abingdon.
Sept 5. Another 16 miles around Oxford.
Sep 6. The "new" bike is now assembled, thanks to help from Walton Street cycles. (See photo below complete with floral attributes). 32 miles today from Oxford down the Vale of the White Horse.
9 Sep. 40 miles. Headwind all the way down the White Horse Vale but the reward of a wonderful blackberry bush at the 20 mile turn. See below.
Sep.10 27 Miles out towards Watlington and back
Sep. 11 24 miles Abingdon then back via Wolvercote.
Sep. 12. 15 miles around the countryside, but bike causing pains in back and legs.
Sep. 14. Real difficulty in getting the settings right. Tried different saddles and different heights, none of them comfortable. 10 miles around Oxford.
Sep 15 Seem to have got the settings perfect at last with a millimetre adjustment to the saddle (see photo below). Just in time to leave tomorrow. 19 miles Oxford-Abingdon.
16 Sep. Cycling off to the station to catch the train for St Pancras (see photos below). Outside the station resisting the temptation to board the Eurostar. But head south across the river on a beautiful morning with the bright autumn air awash with sound of church bells. Arrived in the late afternoon at my first stop - E. Grinstead. 40 miles.
17 Sep. After a considerable diversion to find a country route the road took us over the North and South Downs. Very hilly. But had time to visit the Car Protection centre in the Ashdown Forest. Coming down off the South Downs into those rounded green soft pillowy hills the phone began to cut out and when I got to Virginia Woolf’s last house, Monks house, it was no longer possible to make any calls or take photographs. More worrying - navigation was Very difficult (maps being a thing of the past). However with much patient massage the phone came back to life temporarily and I went on to Newhaven where the boat was waiting to leave. 40 miles. Got to Dieppe at 10:30 pm local time and found the hotel which was close to the quay.
Sep. 18. Before leaving this morning briefly visited the church of San Jaques and the beach in Dieppe which Whistler loved so much (see photos). Then off down the appropriately named Avenue Verte, a remarkable stretch of almost level cycling and walking track left by a former railway (See photo).This creates a beautiful lane of trees and bushes that shelter you from the easterly wind while the sun shines through the leaves and dapples the ground in front of you. Arrival at Gournay-en-Bray. 47 miles. Phone performance really bad now. Will not be able to take many more photographs on this ride but will complete the text in Internet cafes.
Sep 19 after leaving the Avenue Verte the hills become steeper and the countryside more rolling. Gourmet is a nice little town but the journey from here to Triel-sur-Seine a long stretch- about 55 miles. Phone quit dead now so no images until I can get it fixed.
Set 20. Today. Left Triel early to get to Paris. About 50 miles. Remarkable journey which starts on a narrow shaded track for about 4 miles on the banks of the Seine. Then it dives into forest after forest - Foret de San Germain, Foret de Marly, Park de Versailles. Not a car in sight. It then crosses a narrow foot-bridge cum aqueduct and drops right into the Bois de Boulogne. A quick visit to a phone repair shop, a new battery and the a photo of the author near the Champ de Mars. Many thanks to all these people who have so generously supported this project but with the 200 miles from London I think the total of 300 miles has been well and truly exceeded!
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