Saturday, 9 April 2016

Thank you!

Picking up my finisher's medal from Olympic gold medalist Geraint Thomas MBE!
So now nearly a month later - and with the aches and pains subsided - it's time to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me and sponsored me for the ride.  My ride has raised an amazing £3,300! And together all the riders and team sponsors this year raised over £365,000 which is truly staggering!

It will make such a difference to the lives of so many children and young people supported by Coram.  So thank you all very much. It was definitely worth it!

Geoff x

(PS if you're still keen to donate try clicking the 'Sports Giving' link above - it may work!)

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

C2C day 6: Aix to Cannes - my ride 180km


We made it - we're in Cannes!

Up today very early again today at 5.45 for breakfast at 6.  With the extra rolls packed for the road - and then room packed up - we were rolling out on the road for the last time at 7. It was cold but still this morning - and we still had 180km (105 miles) to go!

We set of through the streets of Aix and then gradually climbed as we traversed beneath the beautiful Mont St Victoire. The hills were a shock to very tired legs and we all regretted the extra glass of wine at last night's final dinner.  But the rising sun over the Provence landscape was a great reward.  So it was onwards and eastwards.

We were riding through lots of beautiful hilly terrain with the sense that the coast was not far away.  We passed on through wooded hillsides and past alpine blue rivers and lakes.

I kept an eye on my bike computer all the way and it seemed to take ages for the kilometres to click away towards our destination.  But  finally when we were 15km away from Cannes we got a glimpse of the Mediterranean sea and our destination in the distance. What a feeling!

We climbed two more steep hills until finally descending onto the western end of the very long promenade.  The ride in was fantastic and it was an emotional moment for everyone after such a long journey. It was also great to see so many supporters who'd met up as the start back in London.


The final treat for us all was that one and only Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas came to award the medals to us all at the end - fresh from winning the Paris-Nice ride the day before!


Finally it was time for a well eaned beer and the chance to celebrate together.

Thankyou everyone who has tweeted, texted and sent me support. Your encouragement has been amazing and has helped me get here!  If you'd like to sponsor me it's not too late just go to: 
https://race-nation.com/sponsor/e/20935


Thank you!


Time for a sleep! x








Monday, 14 March 2016

C2C day 5: Valence to Aix - my ride 240km


Had the luxury of an extra hour lie in this morning 'til 545. Managed to get to breakfast and then headed out for what promised to be a great day.

On the ride we enjoyed another sunny day through some really tough hilly terrain as the middle of France gave way to the south. This morning we were passing a few more farms full of 'donkeys and ducks' but by the end of the day it was lavender, olive trees and vineyards as far as the eye could see. We saw some amazing villages with castellated walls and churches high on defensive outcrops. We finished the ride - after 8.5 hours riding time by descending the Luberon valley!!

A great evening tonight celebrating the great work of Coram. 

I am sunburned, my legs hurt everywhere and there is nothing to say about the 'saddle region' that's printable!

Tonight we have our last dinner before our final challenge of the 171km tomorrow.... Please god don't let the wind turn against us!

A demain.


Sunday, 13 March 2016

C2C day 4: Dijon to Valence - my ride 315km


Alarm call again at 4.45 today which was unbelievably tough after the milage of the last few days combined with hardly any sleep. Still, struggled out of bed and to breakfast to be out and ready to go in the dark at 6am.

All very tough but once it started to get light it turned into a good day on the road with a wonderful road surface and just the sense that we're now approaching southern France. The temperature seems to be rising a bit, we crossed the Rhone this afternoon and 'Cotes d'Azur' is beginning to appear on the odd road sign. 

Today I had a rear puncture and a chase back up into the peloton at over 50km/h thanks to Finnish legend rider Anti for the follow (thankyou!). And the privilege of leading the peloton for the last 50km in the dark down the mountain and into Valence. Brilliant.

The saddle soreness is definitely the biggest pain.  I'm ok apart from that. I just feel exhausted.

2 days to go so need now to try and keep it all together. Looking forward to a beer and a sit down at the end!

Above us a photo of our amazing moto team. Keeping us all safe all day long. 

Thanks for sponsoring me!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

C2C day 3: Reims to Dijon - my ride 305km


Another amazing day!

We started out on the road at 6am sharp after one of the shortest vacations in Reims ever!  We had a wonderful ride through champagne country and watched the sunrise over the vineyards.  Just beautiful.  

We then continued ... on and on southwards .... through seemingly endless and huge rolling arable fields battling into a headwind. It was tough going but the morale and banter in the pelaton held up.

Our route today was sprinkled with picturesque villages - all complete with buildings made of stone (or 'weetabix') and lots of barking farmyard dogs.  

In between were running horses, gigantic wind turbines and farmer's bonfires! You get the distinct impression that not much happens in the villages around here and so a pelaton of 80 riders caused quite a spectacle!   In fact most of the people that were around seemed genuinely very pleased to see us cycling through their villages and there was lots of waving, clapping and shouts of 'allez allez!' as we cycled through. 

We had great morning and lunchtime stops in the sunshine with the wonderful C2C helpers. I personally benefited from suncream, Vaseline, lunchtime baguettes, coca cola, peanuts, chocolate, cakes, water, coffee, bananas, apples, and loads of water refills. All served with a smile and lots of encouragement as ever.

The day ended with an amazing ride into Dijon and right through the city in the dark. Our french motorcyclists did an amazing job getting us through safely and stopping the traffic. A real life time experience!

Tonight there are lots of tired bodies and red faces as we all feel a bit wind and sun-burnt! Tonight I've got sore knees after over 300km on the roads again - and the need for sudocreme in some areas (don't ask!).

But... we are now over half way to Cannes!  




Friday, 11 March 2016

C2C day 2: Calais to Reims - my ride 315km


Woke up to the alarm at 4.45am this morning and after corn flakes, 2 pain au chocolats and cheese and ham rolls (plus 1 for the road!) was out and ready to go by 6am. 

Big day today with the longest ride of my life. Long day through rolling countryside passing war graves, wind turbines and pretty villages. The weather was freezing cold and cloudy at the start but cleared into a sunny afternoon. Really poignant to see all the war graves as we passed through the Somme. 

A real highlight was to be greeted by a class of school children at the lunch stop all waving Union Jack flags to welcome us to their village!

And at the end of the day it was great to see the moonrise as we rolled down into Reims completely exhausted.

I covered 320km today (200 miles) with a ride time of 12.5hrs. Covered the last 50km in pitch darkness with lights to arrive here in Reims at about 9.15pm. Very happy with that and my longest ride ever and survived more or less in one piece with just a very stiff neck. 

Hopefully it'll go with a night's sleep. We've got to be up and ready again in 6 hours! 

A demain mes amis.






Thursday, 10 March 2016

C2C day 1: London to Calais - my ride 120km



We're in France! 

Up this morning for a 6.30am start in a hotel in Tottenham Court Road to get down to the start of the ride at Central St Giles. That was after about 4 hours broken sleep - mainly dreaming about cycling! 

Great to see everyone and be part of the team at last and to be inspired by a talk about what the ride would achieve for the beneficiaries of the ride proceeds. Great too to see Richard and Michael from our London office (Thanks for coming out guys!).

It was a grey chilly morning for all of us stood round in our Lycra pants and vests waiting to start but things felt good. Good to see the FCB logo on the ride team bus too this year!

The ride set off at 9am and we made our way slowly out through the heavy rush hour traffic past St Paul's Cathedral, over Tower Bridge and on to Greenwich.

Pace was steady and thankfully everyone seemed to stay out of trouble.

Stopped for a banana, coffee and pee at Brands Hatch and then on through rolling country lanes to a quick stop at the stunning Leeds Castle in Kent. Then onto Folkestone and a ride through the tunnel got us here to our hotel in Calais. 

The real work starts tomorrow with a much longer day. And we've just been told it all starts with breakfast at 5am (that's 4am UK time people!). 

Sacre bleu. A demain. 

X





Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Here we go!


So - Training time is over and now the focus is on getting ready for the start of the ride... tomorrow!  I've made it London with my bike and kit and am booked into a hotel room near the start line tomorrow. Can't believe it's all come round so soon!


This week I've taken it very easy on the bike and have been getting some rest before the big ride. So just one or two shorter rides and time to chill out a bit.

Today it was 'bye to my family who got up very early to help me get through the rain and gales to the train station.  And then 'bye to everyone at work too. Thank you so much to everyone for all the encouragement and support.


I'm feeling a bit apprehensive but looking forward to meeting everyone in the morning - and getting the show on the road!

Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored me so generously to ride for Coram. If you'd like to make a donation or catch up with how I'm doing please visit: 
https://race-nation.com/sponsor/e/20935.

Allez!

Geoff x

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The final week...!


So it's the last nerve-wracking week before the big start on Thursday 10th March.

Yesterday I went to the final Cycle to Cannes rider briefing meeting in London.  All useful stuff and great to meet lots of my fellow riders.  I came away in the knowledge that I'm to be one of the 'ride captains' helping out and riding with the Aviva team.  So now I'm the proud owner of a new cycling top and rain jacket to wear on the first and last days of the ride.

I've also been gathering my kit together getting ready for the start of the ride.  I have a very long list of stuff to take - including sun cream, lipsalve, vitamins, and glucosamine. And some good food stuff for those very long days on the bike including nuts, dried fruit and malt loaf.  The last job is to now get my bike serviced and all my kit washed and ready in anticipation of any weather over the 6 day ride. It's like planning a military campaign!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has sponsored me over the last few weeks.  If you'd like to sponsor me to keep going you can do so by visiting my donations page by clicking HERE.

Thanks a lot!
Geoff x

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Amazing fundraising!

 
Thanks so much to everyone who has sponsored me for the ride so far - last week we raised over £1,000 in a MASSIVE week!  It's all going to make a huge difference for Coram and their amazing work.  Thank you!

To check out my latest total please visit my donations page at: https://race-nation.com/sponsor/e/20935

(PS And thanks too to Charlotte for her fundraising poster. Nice!)