London to Paris - Stage 4

Welcome to Paris!

They've made it!!  The team have cycled over 300 miles and have completed the London to Paris cycling challenge!  Barry has posted his final blog below, and you still have a chance to donate here:

"The last day and also the shortest day of the ride (58 miles) began at 6.15am.  In order to make sure we could negotiate the traffic and the city itself, an earlier start was required.  But, in typical fashion, before we had even rolled out, Joe had got a puncture (I also had a puncture, but the mechanic fixed it before I even got to my bike, what a legend).  This hampered our progress a little, however, there was no rush today as we had plenty of time.

It’s probably fair to say that everyone’s legs were a bit sore after 3 days in the saddle and best part of 250 miles under our belts.  Not that it slowed us down, I’m seriously impressed by all of the guys, the pace was still up there at a decent level.  We rode together again, and in larger groups with some of the other riders.  That’s been the best thing about the ride for me – sticking together as a team.  We had such good fun, lots of banter, everyone chipping in, and doing their bits.

There was a small detour shortly before lunch, which meant we had to cross over a zebra crossing to get back on course.  And here we had our first and only fall of the week, Zoe getting her cleats stuck while stopped.  Not too much damage though!  I blame the Garmins – they’re good but I’d much prefer the route to be signposted.  One girl turned up at lunch an hour late after she got lost in Paris.  Scary stuff when the batteries on the Garmin die.

At lunchtime we gathered in a park by the Seine, and baking hot sunshine and the Royal Wedding being streamed on people’s phones.  What a world we live in, eh?!

The next section of cycling was tough in the sense we were getting deeper and deeper into the centre of Paris.  Fortunately, much of it was flat along the river, no dramas, to the final holding point.  The day was nearly done, and we rode in convoy across L’Arc de Triomphe and through the streets of Paris to the Eiffel Tower.

I’ve done plenty of cycling, but I do not find cycling through Paris a pleasant experience!!  It’s busy and dangerous, even in a convoy.  But any frustrations I had were washed away as we got to the Eiffel Tower.  Friends and family being there to greet everyone was amazing - I nearly cried seeing the banner that his wife had made for our new mate Tony!!  We even had a marriage proposal (and a yes!) at the very end.  Heather “Nostradamus” Newton said she had predicted it…….

And that is that!!  All that’s left to say is a big congratulations to everyone who completed the ride, all of the crew, all of the people who’ve supported us and donated money.  I say this every time I do something, but it really is true – anyone can do anything if you put your mind to it.  Get up, get involved, make a difference.

No gags in this one, if anyone wants to know about the celebrations in O’Sullivans Bar/Club on Saturday night, ask someone else, I have no idea what occurred……..

Au Revoir et Merci!!"

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