Everybodys gotta learn sometime

So as the prospect of 400km in four days draws ever closer, its clear that I need to get get back in the saddle and start racking up some miles. So this morning, up with the lark (always assuming that lark isn’t really a morning bird) I decided that it was time to make a start. To be truthful I was geed on by my Dad who along with Mum is visiting and ¬†asked how much training I had done. (which reminds me don’t ask Siri what is zero divided by zero, unless you want to get a sarcastic answer about cookies). So back to the bike. As I don’t get to see my folks often enough the plan was to get up early and get a few miles in before breakfast, and in my head I was thinking a half hour ride would be a start cos “everyones gotta start somewhere”. So I set off early with that thought in my head that quickly morphed into an old Korgis (and I always thought that was Corgis) song from the 80’s that stuck with me for the whole ride. “Everybody’s gotta learn sometime” well I was thinking its not really learn, more remember. So what did I remember and what did I learn:


  1. The saddle on my road bike is razor sharp
  2. UK road users don’t give cyclists any respect but one of the things I’m looking forward to is that apparently in France other road (la Rue) users share the space .
  3. Uk roads are full of rough patches/potholes they hurt (ref 1 above)


  1. Be organised, I set off and found that my tyres were flat
  2. I forgot my sunnies, next time I will check all my kit before I start off . #kitbrix

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All getting a bit real (and very exciting)

So at long last the plan seems to be coming together. Ive signed a formal document for planets charity so its all official. Overnight stops, and so by default route sort of planned and itinerary laid out. First day is going to be a gentle start with a short leg from Cherbourg down to Grandcamp Maisy (about 44 miles). From there our longest day will see around 76 miles across to Honfleur. Day three is a shorter one of 64 miles down to Acquigny, leaving us just a 64 mile Jaunt down to gay Paris. Put like that it sounds OK, challenging but OK. This trip is going to be entirely self funded, hence budget hotels,  because neither of us feel its right to put any donations towards the costs of what hopefully will be a road trip to remember.

Put it into the context that each day will be roughly what we did on last years London to Brighton, it sounds a bit harder, but hopefully we won’t face anything like the beast that was Ditchling Beacon (please Matt tell me we won’t). So just the ferry to book then and its all systems go. Oh perhaps the other thing we need to do is get some training in. Now I’ve done 50km (took me around 2 hours) over the last two days so a reasonable start but still a long way to go. Oh yes and the fundraiser page is live at:


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New beginings

So it seems that the original blog “swim the Solent” has run its course. It was great while it lasted but as time has gone on and the scope of the annual challenges has widened it is now time for new beginnings. Hopefully this blog will become the home for ongoing challenges. Since the original swim the solent, there have been swimming and cycling (as well as a brief dabble in Triathlon) and so the original title became less appropriate as time passed. For 2017 the focus will be on cycling and the object will be to pedal from Poole to Paris over 4 days (most likely July 2017). watch this space for updates on progress and the journey from Poole to Paris.

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