It is Tuesday the day before the Grand Depart



I had a reasonable nights sleep on monday after a hectic day at work. It always happens with work. The day before I go on holiday things happen…. Hey ho I left feeling I had done everything I could.

Jo had picked up the bike box, I needed this to fly my bike back from Dinard as I was not returning with my new cycling friends on the Eurostar as I was going to relax at home in france for a week.

Paul who works for Jo in the florist shop (driving) was going to pick me up on Tuesday morning for the trip down to Croydon in London. I asked him to take my instead of work and he agreed providing is wages could go to the NKF.

Tuesday morning I had a light breakfast and was ready, paul turned up a little early but I was ready for the off.


Everything was set and off we went.

I followed paul in my wife’s car to her florist shop as she would need her car with the van going to London for the day.

I met up with Jo to say my good byes and I must say I think the reality of what I was about to attempt finally hit me. I was still not 100% if I could do it.

I was leaving my wife from Tuesday to till saturday, attempting to cycle from London to Paris as a complete novice with a little over 8 months training and not having a clue what to expect. Battling with diabetes, not knowing how 6-8 hours in the saddle would work and a donated kidney from Jo as my own were beyond economical repair.

Afer a few hours of circumnavigating the M1 and M25 and having the pleasure of being stationary in UKs largest car park we arrived at the Selsdon hotel.


I was nervous once again the penny had dropped, tomorrow I was going to hit the road to Paris.

I got all my kit into the room which of course was at the top floor and the furthest away from reception you could get. So dragging my bike box, two bags and Charlie had to be carried out in relays whilst Paul guarded my prize possessions.

It got to around 6:30 and many of my fellow riders started to arrive some in larger groups etc, I was amazed at the lager drinking contest going on by several of the big groups. It was a no-no for me as I never drink before I get on the bike as you can feel it the morning. I took to the restaurant for some food and then it was time for final preparations such as selecting tomorrows clothing, drink bottles filled, essential food ready for the ride, garmin ready, phone charged etc etc and off to bed. This routine had to be of military precision ever night for the next several days !


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