This trip was great fun, after getting the experience riding the London To Paris 24 I knew what to expect on this Journey.
I had a better budget this time and thought it would be a good idea to invest in a proper road bike so I bought Claudio (see bikes section) What a beauty! although a budget road bike I had purchased on eBay for £140 then got £10 offer due to it having a puncture when I picked it up… what a bargain! The stakes were up I decided to do this for Little Heroes Cancer Charity so to raise money I couldn’t keep this one a secret like the London To Paris 24.
The training was much more fun than I had expected, I went to some really cool places like Stone Henge and really concentrated on 1 or 2 long rides a week. It was nice to be taken seriously after my Paris trip, I see a lot of people saying they will do these challenging but not understanding the commitments needed an giving up before. I had a nice set of followers of Facebook (www.facebook.com/ferricharity) and Twitter (@LTDRF) chucking support at me all the time.
I did my best to get Sponsorship but nobody seemed interested, I guess with anything like that you have to prove yourself and an athlete before you are even considered. I wasn’t concerned about it I just a bit gutted when you had certain big bike chains say yes we will send you things then never action it.
The day came, I was carb loaded and ready to go! bike was looking great and I was feeling a million! I made my way to Trafalgar Square where I sat on the steps for an hour before leaving thinking about the journey I was about to make. I left about 3pm the weather was hit and miss for the trip but needs must, sometimes you just have to hope lady luck will look after you. I allowed 7 hours for the 70-80 mile trip. It was horrible when it got dark 10 o clock on a dual carriage way flying into Dover, far from a pleasure, but i had made it with an hour to spare.
The Ferry Trip was good fun and I met another Cyclist who was heading to Holland and he said I was crazy…. he was right i’m sure haha. I gave him my website address as he wanted to follow my progress and off I went when the Ferry docked. It was dark and cold but the temperature was perfect and the wind threw me towards Brussels at great pace, mile after mile after mile hour after hour I avoided stopping and checking as I didn’t want to know how far away I was. The morning hit as I stopped for a breakfast Sandwich, I asked a local how long to Brussels and he said ‘100km’ I couldn’t believe it I thought I was so much closer, I had some time to make up so head down I cracked on.
I flew through lovely villages enjoying the great Europe cycle paths and flat roads until my cleat on my cycling shoe and broken, for some reason it was getting stuck and I had fallen off my bike twice due to this, but there was no going back so I didn’t stress took a short break and fired on.
’30km’ i,m so close but wait why is it getting hilly now… i’m short on time will I make it? another energy bar and water that will help haha. ’20 minutues left am i near’ as I reach the brow of a hill directly overlooking the city, a short pause and one last hammer into the pedals I had reached Brussels 15 minutes to spare… what an adventure!