Posted by: Zombi | November 8, 2009

Route planned… at last!

I have finally completed the 1st draft for my route from Valley Parade to San Remo, Italy.  It has taken me far too long to be honest but now it is done which will allow me to tweak is as needs be and also plan more realistically for what is ahead of me.

The trip down through England should hopefully take me 4 days.  My main concerns are finding places to camp along the way.  With is being May/June all campsites should be open however, they are nowhere near as frequent as in France so it may be a challenge finding them.  Ideally I don’t want to have set places to stop planned each day as that doesn’t give me flexibility should I want to push on a few more miles (or stop earlier!).  The route takes me down through Nottinghamshire so will be quite a hilly start.  I am hoping to then go directly through London as opposed to the Dartford crossing so will aim for an overnight stop there before a long day to Dover the following day.

The 1st few days in France look like they will not be too hilly before I hit the Tour route, probably split over a couple of days (Bearing in mind they do it in about 5 hours, it puts it in to perspective how fit those guys are). Leaving Reims, preferably without the Champagne hangover, I will then be heading directly south, past Lyon before I squeeze between the Alps and Massif Central before reaching Avignon.  From Avignon I will he heading east to the coast at Frejus and St Raphael at which point I will be following the coastal road through Cannes, Antibes, Nice, Monaco and into Italy (all 15 miles of it!). The last day is going to prove to be an extra challenge with the opportunities to stop and swim pretty much every mile of the way. It’s a hard life I guess, I will have to pack my swim stuff!

Now I have a route planned I need to sort out getting a bike to actually ride.  My Cycle to Work scheme at work is one option however I am limited to buying through Halfords and the upper limit of £1000 might not quite be enough to get me a decent enough bike. I really don’t want to just make do with something that isn’t quite right for the sake of £100 or so which means I am going to have to get saving!  I’m not too concerned at the moment as I have enough bikes to train on as Amy (the other half) will no doubt testify.

The last week or so have been pretty busy at work with me needing to be over in Chester midweek and down in Nottingham for the football on Friday so I only got 60 miles in.  Still, if the pro’s can have a holiday then I’m sure I will manage with a few shortened weeks.  My half-finished bathroom took precedence over going out on the bike today but hopefully I will be able to go out on a run with Ravensthorpe CC, who I have heard about a few times recently, in the near future.  The only event of note was the thoughtful taxi driver who decided the best place to overtake me was the 50 meters before his turnoff.  Sure enough he had to accelerate so hard that no sooner was he ahead of me he had to break hard to swing left.  This results in me having to slam on and somehow miss piling straight into his passenger door, a bit like this… Still, at least he saved those 5 seconds. Must have been a really important fare.

The final places in the Team Sky line up were due to be announced on Friday but has been put back again with the potential signing of Bradley Wiggins thought to be the reason for the delay.  I think Bradley would be a great signing for them and really capture the interest of the British public during the Tour next year so I hope it comes off.  Anything that raises the profile of Cycling, in a positive light, is great.  The more people on bikes, the better for a number of reasons not least, making it easier and safer for those of us riding on the road with the added respect we seem to get after cycling has been ‘on the telly’.

Looking forward to the commute tomorrow. Something that made me smile over the weekend was the Amature Transplants.  I have tentatively linked one of their songs. If you are very easily offended, just don’t watch it.  There is some strong language but if you are not Mary Whitehouse then enjoy…




  1. Great blog mate and cheers for the link, I appreciate it, Gaz

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