24 HOUR COUNTDOWN


Where does the time get to? It’s now UNDER(!) 24 hours before we turn our pedals in anger – setting out from Greenwich Park to Calais.

Our London to Paris training has ground to a halt like a derailed Eurostar train. One Gurning Grimpeur is carrying an ominous injury (which started as some red hot tendonitis in the heel/ankle). Both ‘athletes’ (ahem) are relieved this has started to clear up and the patient's tortured, pain-induced, gurning has abated. 

There'a also been the threat of contracting RSI from the frantic bout of emailing, Facebook-posting, tweeting and blogging that’s been going on, to drum up further sponsorship on our Justgiving page . The show, however, must go on.

We’re all packed at least - give or take. All that remains is to cram into our bags, all the ‘essential’ last-minute items we’ve bought in a retail frenzy at Sigma Sport (I scoured the shop but they had no, ‘new sets of legs’ on offer).

We hope the pre-booked taxi (‘big enough for two adult bikes’, they’ve assured us) will turn up at the crack of dawn as arranged. If there’s any mix-up we could miss the whole event – Greenwich is nowhere near our front door.

Now we twiddle our thumbs; worry about being dropped en route to the French capital; fret over the prospect of strong winds on the other side of the Channel; chew our nails over the prospect of getting caught in a crash and, of course, nervously, watch the clock.

It seems like eons ago that we discussed the idea of doing the ride with our brother-in-law Mike. He was in hospital in central London at the time, preparing for a bone marrow transplant which it was hoped, would lead him out of the shadow of leukaemia. Sadly Mike’s treatment did not achieve its goal and he passed away in February this year.

We are delighted however, at the number of people who have so generously donated to our Justgiving site which is raising money off the back of London to Paris ( with the Surrey 100, a junior triathlon and scootathlon, still to come) for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research. It is an important charity which relies on generating about £20 million every year to continue its work, developing treatments and researching into possible cures for blood cancer.

When it comes to charity cycling, all roads it seems – or a growing number of them at least - lead to Paris. And ready or not, we’re about to turn our cranks on our very own Parisien cycleway. We’ll be unstoppable until we get to the Champs Elysees.     

YOU CAN SUPPORT LEUKAEMIA AND LYMPHOMA RESEARCH HERE: https://www.justgiving.com/Iain-Marshall2/ 

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