In the early hours of Wednesday morning on the 25th of July three intrepid cyclists including HHCC members Joe and Sean Lee Rice set out for Paris, aiming to raise as much money as possible for the Phoenix Fund.
The first stop was Newhaven ferry port some 70 miles away to board the 10 am ferry to Dieppe, the roads were quiet and the surrey hills in the dark very tough for those who had done little training(Sean)! The efforts to make the ferry on time had according to our third team member Adam Amin brought him to the edge of tears! A last ditch sprint finish ensured that we made the ferry and stowed our bikes in the cargo hold to go and get a terrible breakfast and cramp affected, but well deserved sleep.
The weather in France was blistering hot, but with another 40 miles to go before our overnight stop we had no option but to press on. We arrived as Forge-Les-Eaux are overnight stop delayed briefly by a puncture and Sean being unable to follow basic sign posting.
The second day dawned and the three of us dragged ourselves to breakfast and then back on to the bikes for the final 90 mile slog to Paris. With the temperatures up at around 35C the going was tough, and the miles dragged out longer and longer. Every road seemed to lead up a hill and a lack of water meant that a stop for pizza and ice cream was absolutely necessary.
As the sun was going down and with 200 miles on the clock, we found our way through the streets of Paris and arrived at the Arc de Triomphe to a rapturous welcome from the people of Paris. This welcome consisted of being rudely escorted off the Arc de Triomphe by two particularly miserable French policemen.
A big thank you to everyone who has sponsored us so far, and to anyone who has not yet done so please follow this link to our just giving page!
Joe Lee Rice