Today is our London to Paris one year anniversary thing. YAY! Its been one whole year since we packed up Stu’s camper van with food, loaded our bikes with equipment and set of in search of adventure. Basically we all wanted a holiday to Paris and it was cheaper to cycle than it was to fly. Extreme I know….I will probably think twice before I agree to do a ‘holiday’ like that again.
From what I can remember day one was a blur of excitement, innocent smoothies, broken tandems and cycling in the dark with no lights on our bikes. You can tell we were well organised. After being delayed by a few hours we cycled onto the boat in the nick of time. Although John ‘I talk rubbish’ O’Brien reassured us that the boat would wait for him (cause he’s really important). We had completed our first day from Innocent Smoothies HQ (hence the title of the trip; ‘Le Tour de Fruit de Le Tour Eiffel’ [Fruit Towers to the Eiffel Tower]) to Portsmouth and boy was I happy to get off my bike. 110 miles down.
Day Two started with sore bums and a continental breakfast, including a croissant as well (we were in France after all). Caen welcomed us in the best way possible – with endless hills – which one or two of us fell victim to, I definitely remember seeing someone’s breakfast come up, naming no names (ahem Joel). And Kudos to our support team for the nicest lunch I’ve ever had – to be honest I was just glad not to be eating granola bars or Haribo! A long afternoon of cycling and we made it to L’Evereaux – by this point Ciara O’ Donovan was at deaths door and cried at the site of our lovely Ibis Hotel – she was totes emosh. 200 miles down.
Day Three and the end is near, leaving L’Evereaux was bitter sweet, one step closer to the end, but yet another day of cycling. It was touch and go again for Ciara ‘I can’t do it’ O’Donovan when her knee gave way, but with two knee supports and a extra pair of leggings we had her ready to go. I’ll be the first to admit I was less than on form when we arrived for lunch (I suffer from a terrible case of hangry-itus). But it was all worth it when we saw the sight of the Eiffel tower as we entered Paris ‘twas a site to behold’. 280miles COMPLETE!!!!!!!!!
This is one trip that I know we will all remember for the rest of our lives. There were definite moments when I thought about packing it in and getting on a bus instead – but having the support of the team makes all the difference (and they were a lovely group). One year on I am still as proud as ever that we did it, it was a challenge but it makes you realise how much you are capable of. Team London to Paris you are awesome.