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May 03 2011

The time has come! – Pete’s cycle ride to Paris

Training for my London to Paris challenge concludes this Saturday with a 90 mile cycle across Berkshire, writes Pete Purnham.

All being well this time next week I should have completed the first day of my challenge.

Day 1: London to Calais

The challenge begins next Wednesday (May 11) bright and early from Crystal Palace heading south on route to the coast. My journey takes me through rural Kent, the garden of England. My path winds though traditional British countryside, along the North Downs Way before I reach the white cliffs of Dover. The ferry takes me across to Calais and my first nights resting place. 95 miles (approx).

Day 2: Calais to Abbeville

Stunning picturesque countryside awaits me in northern France as I travel south through some beautiful quaint villages. I cycle on through Desvres, a market town known for its ceramics and continue with the windy roads along the valley of the Canche River. The Artois region is amazing with the Spanish influenced town of Hesdin and its tremendous architecture and close proximity to the battle of Agincourt. I’ll spend the night in Abbeville, a town steeped in history from the war and despite being destroyed in just one night it has managed to retain its beautiful gothic church. 75 miles (approx).

Day 3: Abbeville to Beauvais

My route this morning follows the river Somme out of Abbeville. The Somme is perhaps most famous for its battles and you cannot fail to be reminded of the thousands who lost their lives in the war. But the Somme is also a Celtic word meaning tranquillity. I will finish the day in Beauvais where the market square, Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, is a true highlight. Several of the houses close to the Cathedral date back from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. 70 miles (approx).

Day 4: Beauvais to Paris

My final day of cycling and the big push to Paris, my final destination. I am still treated to some stunning countryside along the River Oise. As midday approaches I will near the outskirts of Paris and I will begin spot the familiar sights of the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine. I will rendezvous with my fellow cyclist in a park just north of Paris before joining together to cycle the last miles along some of the famous boulevards. My finish point can be seen for miles above the Paris skyline and on arrival the celebration can begin! 60 miles (approx).

Thanks once again for your continued support by way of your donations, well wishes and training tips. If you haven’t done so already and would like to sponsor me in pounds and/or pennies simply go to www.justgiving.com/peter-and-genevieve-london2paris to sponsor my overseas challenge.

I will be posting regular updates next week, so feel free to follow my progress by clicking on the image below and selecting ‘like’.

Yours gratefully, Pete.

A small reminder of what your donation can do

  • £10 Three hand hoes or spades: basic equipment for sustainable farming.
  • £10 A beehive: five to ten beehives enable a poor family to start a business in beekeeping for life.
  • £30 A wheelbarrow.
  • £50 Seeds and seedlings for a family to grow sustainable crops for food and income.
  • £80 Three female goats for a family to start goat farming.
  • £100 Establishes a small woodlot for agro-forestry/ environment purposes.
  • £130 Materials for a goat pen including metal roofing sheets for rainwater collection.
  • £170 A male goat (improved breed).
  • £360 Construction of a 5,000 litre ferro-cement tank for a family to collect and store rainwater.
  • £2,000 Annual salary for a trained local extension worker.
  • £2,500 Construction of a brick-built house for an orphan family headed by a child or elderly relative.

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