Sun 12 Mar 2017
The alarm went off at 5.30am in order to get the only train from Bookham that SWT allow bikes to be carried - the only worry being whether it would run. The alternative would be a 27 hike into town even before the start of Cycle to MIPIM. Unusually SWT didn't disappoint!
Arriving at le Grand Depart @ Central St Giles for breakfast with Jim and 198 other property professionals embarking on this mamouth task. Even for those who know - the Infamous Welsh dragon ride is 200 miles long - in a day! We are potentially tasked with doing that for 4 consecutive days! Also even on the tour their rides are circa 120 miles per day to put this challenge in perspective. However we are not obligated to do 200 miles a day - only circa 66 miles but most are doing as much as their bodies will permit.
Stuart Smith and Debs Shell arrive at breakfast to see Jim and I off - many thanks to both of them for all their support and introducing both Jim and I to social media! Even if it has to be diverted and produced by Stuart.
The first day was thankfully pretty uneventful. We departed in our treat groups of 16 riders London traffic to Greenwich where we reconvened en masse as a single peloton to Brands Hatch for a break and then onto Leeds castle for lunch.
Then a trip through the Kent countryside to Folkestone where we picked up the coach - 82 miles/ 130 km on the boat and arrived in Calais for an overnight stop before Day 2................. BTW - 82 miles and we were knackered! How are we going to cope with 200!