Background information on the trip

Perhaps we're mad - Tony Wallis and me, both in our early seventies, contemplating another long trip.  We did LeJoG in 2013 and since then have not attempted any long rides.  Is old age catching up with us?  Perhaps we can manage a long trip one more time before we hang up our boots!  We had seen a book advertised in the cycling mag called "En Velo" so in a mad moment I decided to buy it.  This book is a detailed account of a ride from St Malo on the English Channel to Nice on the shores of the Mediterranean.  It gives lots of information about what to see, where to stay and where to eat and is perhaps France's equivalent to LeJoG with a route distance of 1000 miles.  Having mulled over the route - which involved some "nice" climbs over the Massif Central - we decided to chicken out and go for the easy option.  It would be easy to get to St Malo on the overnight ferry from Portsmouth.  We would then use the first half of the route (with small adjustments) as far as Les Eyzies-de-Tayac and then continue the journey in a southerly direction picking up the Canal du Midi at Moissac just north of Toulouse.  We would then follow the canal in a south-easterly direction until it reached the Med at Narbonne.  This route had the added advantage that the European Bike Express calls at Narbonne and using this excellent service would give us a hassle free return to GB.

Tony W is actively involved in the Leicestershire based charity called Inter Care.  Inter Care, founded in 1974 supports the work of over 100 rural hospitals and health centres in Cameroon, Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Zambia by sending regular supplies of essential, quality basic medical equipment and supplies from the UK.  They are unique in their work and are a recipient led charity.  Without Inter Care over 9 million men, women and children would not have access to quality medicines that would otherwise go to waste in the UK.  We also decided to raise money for Lawrence House - a local Hinckley Charity that cares for the homeless.

As I write this, there is still just over 2 months to go until we leave for France.  Neither of us have done 50 mile rides for the last 3 years.  We need to get fit!

Update June 2017 - well we did it and are now back home feeling much fitter than when we started. Thank you to everyone who has supported us but especially to Carole and Christine, our wives.


First Chapter