If you’ve enjoyed the journey and blog please do think of giving to the charity. Please don’t think this was an easy challenge as I cycle a lot. Hopefully the final destruction of a solidly built bike has shown how tough it was on a bike that was not designed for or should ever have been cycled over such terrain. It’s physically the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, and mentally it’s been quite tough. Please click on the donate button on the right hand side of your screen or click or copy the link below, even if its just a pound. Thanks to those who have already donated, it is very much appreciated by the charity and myself and hope to say thanks in person soon.
If you are interested in the route I took, daily maps are available below and cover the whole route.(with the exception of 16 miles or so where my battery ran out).
Day 01: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514433
Day 02: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514471
Day 03: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514522
Day 04: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514570
Day 05: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514626
Day 06: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514668
Day 07: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514705
Day 08: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514728
Day 09: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514757
Day 10: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514800
Day 11: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514822
Day 12: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514836
Day 13: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514855
Day 14: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514869
Day 15: http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/614514898
My blog has been updated with more pictures, new videos, route and gradient maps, statistics and a little more detail on the journey, particularly through central France where I was unable to add the info while I was cycling and bike fixing….. But my attempt at cycling from London to Andorra is now over, but the following is a record of the trip. Please read on if you want to know whether the challenge was met or failed in big ball of steel and oil. The donation page will remain open for a while longer so please click below if you wish to give a little something to the charity…..
If this donation page is closed or you want to find out more about the charity and what you can do to support it please click on the logo below for more information.
Use navigation setting at the top of page to see past blogs.
…. In Santander, after spending Day 17 driving from the Spanish Mediterranean to the Atlantic, I was heading to the ferry port carrying the wrapped up heavy bike bits strapped across my shoulders but as I got closer I figured that I had to at least give the bike some dignity. After all, it did get me just over a thousand miles and through 4 countires including completely across two. Together we’d also climbed the highest pass in the Pyrenees at over 2,400 meters, not to mention climbs adding up to in total to the height of Mont Blanc plonked on top of Everest and even a little bit more. So instead of dragging it on the ship in a cycle bag I quickly put it back together and rode the 1920’s beast gingerly through customs and onto the ship to the amazement of the many waiting bikers and caravaners. They were clearly not expecting to see a butchers bike wobbling past them….
But that’s the end of the trip and it’s ending a good 5 days earlier than hoped. A 26 hour ferry journey awaits before hitting the UK and then just another 2 hours to London…… Although that said, I’m not even thinking about the 9 mile walk home from London Waterloo late on tomorrow (Thursday) night and early Friday morning!
There’s nothing more depressing than walking down a hill with a broken bike, hills are meant to be sped down. While taking a morning walk through Manresa to waste a little time before the train, an old old man hobbled over with his walking stick and said, “hey, what’s wrong with you, has your bike run out of gasoline!” Such was my upset over not making the final few miles it took me all of my effort not to shove his walking stick down his festering paella stuffing mouth hole. I had to laugh and smile at the loco viejo tonto. But I decided at this point that my new word for failure would be Manresa!
I sat staring at the bike on the train, thinking how I was going to get it back to the UK. On the train the bike became some sort of tourist attraction with people quite rudely waving their hands at me or pushing me to move out of the way so they could take a picture, they didn’t even have the manners to even ask.
I got off the train at the Arc de Triomf (yes they do spell it that way!) and then as an ironic gesture had my picture taken with the bike next to it. I sat in the shade of a palm tree and tried to figure out my next move. l had wanted to spend a couple of days cycling around town, but now I had a 40kg millstone around my neck which I could do little with. I had also planned on taking suburban trains back to Paris and then the Eurostar but this was only possible if I could cycle between small towns to connect with local trains as both Spain and France don’t allow bikes on long distance trains. So that focused my options.
I had to hire a car, take the bike to bits, shove it in the back and get the ferry from Santander to Portsmouth. There were only two ferries a week and the only available space was in 2 days time. So that was it… I had to walk 10 miles to the airport to pick up the car as none were available in town and I couldn’t realistically safely leave all of my luggage and bike in the centre.
But that’s it a sad reflection on the end of what had been an amazing trip, compounding the sad feeling of finishing such a journey. Everything I had travelled with including the bike was now in bits in the back of a Volkswagen golf!
But I couldn’t leave it that way….. but in the meantime, tomorrow was a full days drive through northern Spain to Santander.