I’m currently sat on a plane heading back from Nice, having cycled 715km from Girona, Spain, to Cannes, France over 4 days and it seemed as good a time as any to write a few words about my experience. The ride, organised by Club Peloton is an annual event that finishes at the MAPIC retail conference and between the riders that participated this year, as I write, have raised over £58k and counting for Coram, the UK’s first dedicated children’s charity who help kids who haven’t had a great start in life.
I have ridden my bike a lot over the years, since I could pretty much walk, a bike has been involved in my life in one way or another, yet a 715km ride over 4 days was definitely a daunting prospect. I’d never ridden that far over consecutive days, and day 2, which was 220km was the furthest single day ride I’d ever done. What was very humbling though, was the fact there were a couple of riders in the group who had only just got into cycling, and when I say just, I mean in the last few months. They had a massive challenge ahead of them and without exception gave it everything, and with the support of everyone around them, both crew and fellow riders they made it to Cannes. Massive respect.
Rather than bore you with the details of every day, I thought I’d just highlight a few key moments, both highs and lows, you’d be here for days if I was to mention everything, but hopefully, you’ll get a good idea of what a great trip it was.
Day 0 (60km) – Girona loop
Bike mechanics are not route planners… Isn’t that right Matt!?
Risotto if eaten in large enough quantities can fuel you for days (something I would appreciate by day 4!)
Day 1 (157km) – Girona to Perpignan,
French roads are not always super smooth!
At 3(8) you can still leapfrog metal posts.
There’s no need to cry over broken flip-flops because a guardian angel will repair them for you.
Day 2 (220km) – Perpignan to La Grand-Motte
You need lights to ride when it’s dark (Thanks for the loan James!)
The Club Peloton crew can pull together a pretty amazing lunch for 50 cyclists plus support crew in less than 30 minutes.
Riding in the middle of the road is frowned upon, sorry Rhi!
220km, when you are feeling sick, is a very long way (I thought it was a hangover, turns out it wasn’t)
Flamingos are not very pink. It’s one of the biggest lies told to kids!
Day 3 (159km) – Grand Motte to Aix
It is possible to get a chain-gang going with 50 riders, great fun and amazing work by Team NashBond.
You don’t need to carry any water when there is a following van. Cheers team!
The last food I would eat successfully until Cannes would be at today’s first stop… It wasn’t a hangover on Day 2!
Dom still hasn’t worked out how to use his gears!
Day 4 (180km) – Aix to Cannes
There is a black market for Haribo which I discovered after 100km… Still no food eaten as I daren’t risk it but Haribo from that point kept me going until Cannes.
Rapid weight loss strategy for the hilliest day worked a treat but I wouldn’t want to repeat it!
Not even a crash could stop anyone making it to Cannes. Amazing riding by all.
Dom hates Ceri but the feeling is mutual…
Day 5 –Cannes.
After not eating for over 36hrs over day 3 and 4 I had some calories to replace and now I could actually eat something, I hit what felt like every café/restaurant in town. It felt good to have successfully ridden to Cannes but even better to eat something!
Total miles ridden – 445
Total km ridden – 716
Total hours ridden – 31hrs
Total calories burnt – 14,641
There is only one way to end this, and that is to say a huge thank you to all of the support crew from Club Peloton, Roadside Therapy, Service Corps, ISE, Coram, Team NashBond and all of the other riders who made the whole experience an unforgettable one. Until next year…
#holidays #cycletoMAPIC #teamNashBond #clubpeloton #Coram #KingsCross #CoalDropsYard #roadbikes #cycling #Girona #Cannes #teamwork