Thursday, 7 August 2014

Going Back Home!

Alright then, you know by now that the mission was accomplished over two weeks ago, so why this post? Well, I wanted to give any of you poor sods who are still interested an update to how the fundraising has gone...after all, that was the main driver behind this malarkey.

Do yourselves a favour and play the song above...just a tremendous number, and as much as I love France it's nice to get back to the U.K.!

As you might imagine after the long day we did pretty much slob around and basically drink and eat like eejits. Unbelievably, what took (or seemed to, at any rate) up most time was sorting through photos and trying to get the blog written up. And that tardiness wasn't solely down to a superbly temperamental wi-fi (Gallic pronunciation 'wiffy') connection or a few local cold brews...actually, it pretty much was.

See, an iffy wiffy connection. Told ya'...

The following day was again a tad on the lazy side but we did manage almost an 18 mile round-trip to a restaurant and then a winery that Andy had visited on his previous assault on Ventolux in 2011. Amazed they let him back to be honest...

No desire to ever see Ventoux again but this scenery is always welcome.

This'll have to do pour luncheon. Tres bon!

Amouse bouche...appetisers...and local Rose. Les frites must be on the way...cheers!

Perhaps slightly charged by 'local produce' I gave it my best to cane it back to Malaucene and give my fortnight a decent sign-off. HR felt like 190 bpm by the end of those what, three miles? Wow.

Then it was a case of chucking the bikes in the back of Andy's much better-half's motor (thank you Tish!) and retiring for another steak and perhaps an ale or two prior to an early doors drop-off at Avignon TGV staion. Thanks for that mate!

1664? Mais oui. Le Chunnel not far away...
My transit was fine until I encountered Eurostar at Gare du was chaos due a computer outage and not really what anyone was looking forward to. Just as well I wasn't trying to cart a bike as well!
Strictly a First World Problem and by 3.30pm I was sat in The Coal Hole on the Strand with a very cold cider, waiting for my mate Rog and then a show at the Royal Festival Hall by Mr Burt Bacharach. Howzat for random?

How many songs has Burt had a hand in? More than a few!

One other daft occurence worth noting: when Le Tracteur kicked me out at Avignon I ran through a checklist while I waited for the on-time keys...whoa! That sudden cold shot when you realise that you've dropped the ball: I left my keys in my saddle bag that Andy was taking back to the UK (along with my bike and panniers). D'oh!

No drama as there is always a plan b, right? My long-suffering neighbours always have a spare set so I'll text Alison and give her a heads-up. In the unlikely event of that failing then there is a spare in a jam-jar buried in the back garden, so no drama.

Anyway after a while I get a text saying that a) my neighbours are in Scotland on a mini-break and b) for some reason they didn't think that they had a spare set anyway this time.
Ok, so it'll either be the buried spare or a brick through the back the event it was a call to my home insurers who confirmed that I was covered for just such moronic behaviour. Two hours and one drilled lock later and I was sat watching the finale of the TdF with my first decent cup of tea in a fortnight, hah-hah!

So to the serious end of things: did we raise a decent amount for the two great causes? Yes, I think we did do that as the photos below show: £2100 for the Royal British Legion and £2500 for Cancer Research UK.

I know that you've heard it all before but thank you.

Brilliant! Good on you people.

The Just Giving sites are still open if you haven't been able to donate and still would like to do just are the links:

I will give £10 for every £50 that you do. Aside from that, there is one other thing that would help, if you can do it...please share this blog and/or the JG links with your pals/acquaintances/enemies.

Before I wrap this adventure up, I am chuffed to announce that our efforts were recognised by the loons at the 'Club Des Cingles Du Mont Ventoux': myself and Andy are the 92nd and 93rd people to have completed La Bicinglette. Get in!
Also worth noting that he really doesn't mind that I have the lower number despite the fact that he bested/beasted me all day, hah-hah-hah! Never mind, no.93, hah-hah-hah!

The turn-around time for these certificates was almost quicker than my time up the mountain!

One final time...thank you for all your support and sponsorship. I owe you all a beer...eventually. Cheers!

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