Today we have news from one of our Paris to Swindon cyclists, plus some further information about the ride gleaned from the recent interview with Andy Cook!
Firstly, Ian Webb from The Consortium has news of about his training and the background to why he's chosen the 2 charities he's supporting.
Ian, tell us how training's been going
I've ridden to work 3 times (47 mile round trip) and did a 63 mile sportive ride on Sunday (slowly). Don’t think I will be chasing Matt down at the front of the peloton but I should get around !
Which charity are you supporting on your ride?
I have a target of £1,000 for CLIC Sargent. CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Children) is a well known, extremely worthy cause and also has a long association with Frenchay hospital, my 'local'. It is a great charity.
I also have a target of £1,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Again another worthy cause fighting a condition that has affected some good people in my life.
Thanks for the update Ian! Now, you've mentioned on your Just Giving pages that your clunky ancient knees are in charge of getting you back to Swindon from Paris! So I hope you and the other cyclists find the following information from Andy Cook helpful...
Andy, there's quite a few new cyclists from Smiths News joining the team this year. Do you have any information especially for them?
As in previous years we'll be riding in two groups. The ride is all about pacing yourselves and the group working together as a unit. Remember, it's not a race and you'll need to look out for each other. That way, everyone will have an enjoyable ride.
Is it just you acting in the support role?
No, Eddie Griffin will drive the support van and be the team's mechanic. He's also a very experienced cyclist and he'll be a familiar face to some of this year's repeat cyclists. I'll also be appointing a rider 'captain' with overall responsibility for each group.
And if anyone is concerned about riding in Paris, it's relatively safe compared to say, London or Bath.
And for the repeat cyclists, how will this year be different?
Well, firstly France has the same population as Britain, but with 3 times the size of country. They'll find the roads are much quieter and the drivers there have a greater tolerance of cyclists. The route isn't too hilly and we'll be riding through some gorgeous, typically French villages. Imagine shuttered windows and pots of bright red geraniums.
French culture is much more geared to cycling, so there shouldn't be any problems at our hotels regarding bike storage, for example.