FINISHED !!! I made it. I have cycled every single km of the 2014 Tour de France..... one week ahead of the professionals.
Day 23 Stage 21 (The Last Stage) Sun 20/07/14 Evry - Paris 100km
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Garmin tells me... Hours riding = 161 hours 08 mins. Total Distance 3,733 km Total height climbed 50,304m Total Calories burned 68,143 !!
A very leisurely breakfast after perhaps one or two too many shandies the night before.
We set off at around 8:15am and did a quick 6km loop so that we would end up doing over 100km for the Rapha Womens 100km ride today. This was Rene's idea and most of us joined her as Phil led us on a ridiculous lap of the car park and neighbouring streets! Then on for the ride into Paris. The first stop after 40km was at a little café and then at 75km we reached Versailles... for some lovely photos.... but most importantly to meet Andy who was there with a loan bike and his shiny new helmet and white shoes !!
Everyone was dressed in the blue TdF shirts and it felt great riding into Paris. Again, very mixed feelings though for everyone, although everyone was looking forward to meeting their loved ones. Have to mention the tumble though for Mark, who whilst discussing the merits of drafting -up behind a combine harvester 2 years ago, lost concentration, hit the curb and ended up in a hedge. Right in front of me.... Thanks Mark, it looked great !!! Oh how I wish I had a Camera going at the time!
Just one fairly major hill to climb.... 17% at times (and Andy zipped past us with his fresh legs......grrrr) which was a rather rude awakening to what was otherwise a very leisurely roll into town. (Literally in Marks case!). We passed by the Eiffel Tower for the absolutely mandatory photo's and the up along the Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. Crazy, crazy Paris, but well worth it. More cobbled roads..... Typically we had drizzle early on, then some sun, then it was very, very hot at the Eiffel Tower, then heavy rain.... and then just nice, with damp roads...quite typical really of our whole Tour!
At eth end, after a lap of the Champs-Eleysees and Arc de Triomphe, there was Champagne and Hugs before the quick blast down to the hotel for sorting the bikes, a quick clean up and off for our river boat cruise on the Seine from 8pm....till late...........
I'll write a summary blog page when I am home..... But for now...... it's "smugly enjoy the feeling of achievement".
Did I bite off more than I can chew? Yes, I did. But I kept gnawing away.... and won. Glorious. Incredible. Pretty damn chuffed, I have to admit!
Thankyou to everyone who sponsored me. You have helped me raise £7,400 plus gift aid of £550 so that is almost £8,000 in total. Helping disadvantaged children, in an incredibly good way. I think the group total is over £425,000 and expected to reach over £0.5 million soon. Amazing.
We have seen many members of the Wates family over the past weeks and especially over the past few days. 3 generations (all cycling) of Mum & Dad, Brothers, Aunts & Uncles, Cousins, Nieces & Nephews. Amazing. What a wonderful family.