What an emotional two days. And what in incredible start to the next year of our lives. Yesterday morning, along with 100 others, we took on the first leg of our London to Cape Town adventure with a London to Brighton charity ride. The weather was cruel. A head wind all the way to the coast, and rain most of the way there, but that did not stop us – after weeks of sunshine, it seemed almost right that some good old English weather greeted us for our send off.
100 riders, from ironmen to complete beginners, all made the finish line in excellent spirits (despite my brother Harry’s continual moaning about how uncomfortable his saddle was!) to enjoy a pint or three on the beach, despite the rain and wind. It was really inspiring to see so many people take on this challenge. We had a rider on a Brompton, my great friend Tim on a hand bike, and a few people who had never ridden more than 5 miles before taking on this challenge – I love seeing that smile on people’s faces when they have achieved a personal goal, no matter how big or small. For those who had not ridden a bike before this event, we hope you will continue to enjoy life on two wheels.
A huge thank you to Adam and the team from Tri Adventure for organising the event. Together we have given our fundraising an amazing boost and have now raised nearly £13,000. This is just incredible and means we are well on the way our target of £50,000. Watch this space, we may be back for another go next year….
The route to Brighton was a little bit of an eye opener for James and I with our panniers fully loaded for the first time; climbing Ditching Beacon was character building. We’ve both been making the most of saying goodbye to friends and family so can’t confess to being at our peak fitness but goodness, it took every ounce of grit, strength and quite frankly pure fear on my behalf. I knew that if I stopped, I’d fall off and then have to push the 50+kg bikes up the hill, I wasn’t sure I would make it. Good God it hurt, but we made it…. just!
Today our thoughts have turned to saying goodbye to our families. It has been so hard. We’ve known that this day has been coming for a year now but it can never prepare you. We are both extremely lucky to have incredible, loving, supportive families who we see on a very regular basis and although we will be in touch on a very regular basis, we are both going to miss our families like mad. Thank you for your love and support – we love you to bits.
Now we await our DFDS ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe – we’re hoping for some calmer and sunnier weather in France. I’ve not got a great track history on boats so here’s hoping the crossing’s not too rough.
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