Well, we made it! The first thing to say it has been a brilliant experience and I am very grateful to Mark and Lee Baron for giving me the opportunity to take part. The second is one that can easily be forgotten amongst all the little details, obsession with numbers, sore bits and elation, is the reason 200 riders slogged across the whole of France - to raise money for Coram. We have learnt a little about what this fantastic charity does for unfortunate children in the UK. We, and all those who have supported us, should feel privileged and proud to have done just a little to help their work.
We arrived in Cannes yesterday in glorious sunshine after a magnificent day's riding over big hills and through stunning scenery - about as far removed from the first couple of days in France as possible. It was moving to roll into the final stop with all the riders who have shared the journey and experience, the atmosphere was incredible.
We have all suffered the wet and cold, sore backsides, backs, shoulders, hands and legs together. Sat on the bus, trying to dry stinking kit and swapped horror stories about how hard it has been at times, our bad guts and room mates' snoring (mine in our case, apparently). We have all shared the joy of rolling into a pee stop after hours trying to cycle cross legged, sharing meals, completing stages and, well, just the camaraderie that develops through shared experience. Everyone was encouraging, there was no one up man ship - we did what we could and much more, whether just the required stages or every single km.
Anyway, here's our individual stats:
Total distance: 1073.4km. Time: 47hrs. Elevation: 9578m. Calories: 20932. Longest day: 242.5km
Total distance: 1291.4km. Time: 53:37hrs. Elevation: 11618m. Calories 28752. Longest day 309.3km - over 13hrs in the saddle!
Finally, we would like to thank all those who have supported us, our corporate sponsors and most of all our wives and families who have had put up with the long training ours, the whinging, the boring talk about kit and bikes and, not least, the love, the support and coping without us for 10 days whilst we swan about France.
Your happy and just a little tired pal