The tour de farce 2010 boys will be back on their bikes ... coming soon!

In August 2012 the boys will be back in their saddles as they cycle from Rome to Home to raise more money for charity. Please follow the blog to keep up to date with their preparations, and to follow their exploits during the ride.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

And the boys finally made it home in one piece

The boys finally arrived at the Rose and Crown at 7.15pm

Add your own caption...

Interesting tan lines George

Bunch of happy campers

Can't forget the driver

Group shot  with the lovely Help for Heroes lady

Nanji Snr and Nanji Jnr

Was it something Paul said

Paul sitting on his new present

George being squashed

Step and his family

Stu and Cleo

Stu with his present from Paul

The twist competition

Friday, 24 August 2012

Some important thank yous

As the tour draws to a close (the boys are currently somewhere in Kent....) it's time to say some very important thank yous to people who've helped to make the tour a reality.

Doug and Bev at Lloyds Motorspares have been absolutely fantastic - they have provided the van and fuel!  Without their generosity it would have meant that they boys had to find the money for van hire and hundreds of euros in fuel to get Kyle and all their stuff to Rome and back.  We'd like to say an enormous Thank You - we will be buying you drinks at the Rose and Crown tonight and forever.  Here's a link to Doug's website - should you ever be in the market for some motorspares then he's your man:  Link to LMSspares

We also need to say a huge thank you to Rhonda and Jeff at the Rose and Crown in Chorleywood.  Not only are they putting on the welcome home party at the pub tonight, and providing a bbq, but they have also funded the tour jerseys that they boys have been wearing throughout the tour.  They are brilliant!  Here's the link to the website - if you can't make it tonight to the party then you must visit at some point as it's the best pub in the whole country:  Link to Rose and Crown pub

Thursday, 23 August 2012

End of day 14

Well, the boys are currently in the middle of the English Channel on a freight ferry with lots of 'truckers' (fill in your own joke here..........).  There's no wifi or mobile signal and so there aren't any photos or personal blog updates tonight.  They made excellent time, getting to the ferry terminal about 4 hours before the sailing.   They've had a good trucker-like meal on the boat (I'm imagining a big fry-up, but I don't want to stereotype) and are trying to get some shut eye before landing in Ramsgate (actually, not sure that they are landing in Ramsgate as I don't think there's a ferry terminal there, and I think you 'dock' when you are on a boat, rather than land?  I don't know and I'm quite tired).  They will then find their way to a hotel somewhere in Ramsgate for some much needed shut-eye.

Tomorrow they are heading back (big hurrah's all round).  George says that they "will be passing by Tower Bridge sometime between 1pm and 3pm" and so if you have a spare 2 hours that you don't mind wasting lurking about in Central London pop down and probably miss them as they speed by.

Tomorrow night is the homecoming party.  They would really love to see their friends there - it's been a tremendously tough couple of weeks for them all.  None of them anticipated quite how hard this would be and so it would be so brilliant for them to be supported by their friends and family tomorrow night.  I can't promise that they will stay awake all evening, and I'm pretty sure that they will be standing up rather than sitting down, but it promises to be a lovely evening thanks to Jeff and Rhonda a the Rose and Crown and their wonderful hospitality.

Last update tomorrow (a tear has come to my eye...)

Over and out.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Day 14 - penultimate day of cycling (yippee!) Nivelles to Oosetende (and Ramsgate)

Day 13 - overview

And so the delirium has finally set in.  George's jokes have reached a pinnacle that we didn't ever think possible, and Paul and Adrian had to resort to violence to silence the stream of 'tree' related puns:

Leaf it out guys....
Today saw the boys cycle through Belgium.  It seems that Belgium doesn't regard cyclists in the same way as the French and Germans, and so the boys found cycling on the busy roads quite challenging.  Kyle also found driving the Belgium roads quite tricky.  Stu organised a deviation to the planned route to remove the need to cycle down a very busy road, which took a lot of the potential stress away.  They are running on empty now, and are very much looking forward to getting back to Chorleywood on Friday.

Let sleeping cyclists sleep...
Paul's backside is still giving him gyp, and Jamie is beginning to feel the pressure of keeping at the front every day.  Stu's enjoying the countryside, Steve had another puncture, Adrian is enjoying the Belgium cakes, and George is having a quiet word with his knees to ensure that they get him home in one piece (his knees have replaced his lungs as the 'medical worry of the week').

Here's an overview from the boys:

Steve:  Our Rome to home route today was changed this morning to avoid 40 miles of nightmare dual carriageway. The belgian countryside on the new route was stunning in the morning. Sadly the afternoon saw us on a crap road with a crapper cycle route. I had a puncture and Jamie and I narrowly missed a head on collision with a total idiot who decided it was a good plan to overtake a lorry as we cycled past. I miss France! Just 2 days and 200 miles to go until i can give my backside a rest!

Stu:   Nearly over!!
After enduring 16 miles of a busy dual carriageway heading into Bastogne, the route was changed for today to avoid it as much as possible. The result of this change added 15 miles to the distance and 300 metres to the climbing, and yet no one in the team complained because the N4 road was so horrible!!

What a great decision it was, the rolling countryside was amazing, the climbs were fun, and the 22% descent into the valley was amazing although rather bumpy at 45mph!!

On top of this, we are continuing with our attempts to wear Jamie out by constantly attacking him on the climbs. In fact, I am confident that by the time we reach the small climb up to Chorleywood from Rickmansworth the older members of the team will triumph!! 

Paul:  Day 13: A brilliant day of biking apart from the last 20 miles, in which we encountered horrible bumpy roads and very dodgy poorly marked cycle lanes. My derriere took a hell of a beating and quite simply I can-not take much more punishment. Belgium also has a lot of road works and angry drivers, it was like being in the UK really. Adrian (AKA The Cobra) nearly injured Jamie when he was disturbed during his lunchtime break and George managed to sing a very strange rendition of ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham. Highlight of the day was the fantastic chocolate éclair at the morning hot chocolate stop!! One more day on the continent as we head for Ostende and our ferry crossing to Ramsgate.

Jamie:  Bastogne to Nivelles (97 miles) – A last minute change added 15 miles to today's route, but it meant we had a much nicer ride through the Belgium countryside. The wind was against us but there was great views, banter and racing :).   Tomorrow is a very early start as we have to make the Ferry back to England or we will miss our Rome to Home 2012 Welcome Home Party!

George:  So the end of day 13 and things are still going well. Stu did a great job of changing the route for today to miss horrid roads and we saw some truly beautiful bits of Belgian countryside. The end is in sight - only 2 days left! Come on knees just 2 days before a lovely long break.

OOoh, that's a steep'un
Tomorrow brings a late evening trip across the English Channel and a night in a hotel in Ramsgate.  I think the boys are very much looking forward to getting back to England - I imagine it will take a while to get used to cycling on the left again.  Onwards and upwards - only two days left!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Day 13 - route Bastogne to Nivelles

Day 12 - overview

The boys have cycled for so many days now I find myself getting confused about which day I'm writing about.  I'm pretty sure that today is day 12.....

Let's have a little recap:  They've cycled more than 1000 miles;  They've climbed higher than 3x Snowdon (in one day!); They've cycled through 7 countries; They've endured blisters the size of a 50p, aching limbs, delirium, tears, illness, punctures, broken spokes and not to mention lots of problems with their bikes.  They cycle through tiredness and just keep going.  And all because they feel so strongly about the two charities Help for Heroes and Motor Neurone Disease Association.

They boys are amazing - if you haven't already sponsored them then now's the time to do it - follow the links on the right hand side of this page (go on, you know you want to).

Right then, onto the overview of day 12 (or is it 11?  No, definitely 12...)

Today was quite exciting in places; the boys got to meet a 1966 Tour de France stage winner and to quote Stu "they all got a bit giddy" when they met him.  Edy Schultz now owns a bicycle shop and he helpfully fixed Steve's bike and agreed to have his photo taken with the boys:

The boys met Edy Schutz, winner of a 1966 Tour de France stage (and handily an owner of a bicycle shop)

Stu continues:  Day 12. I never thought today would be one of the high points of the trip, but having met a Tour de France stage winner in his cycle shop my opinion changed. Meeting Edy Schutz put the whole team on a bit of a high!!! The countryside was better than I thought it would be, and we missed getting soaked by a massive thunder storm as well, so all in all a very good day. Legs are still feeling strong, and thankfully the blisters no longer hurt :-)

Jamie: Word has got out about my competitive nature and the need to respond to every attack. So the Rome to Home 2012 lads were taking turns to sprint up the hills, while I responded to each one to try and defend the polkadot jersey. The main culprit was Adrian who seemed to have found his sprinting legs. Probably not the best idea, considering we still have hundreds of miles to go but still a good laugh.

A massive highlight of the day was when Adrian sniffed out a small coffee shop in Luxembourg and there was a bike shop nearby. I thought it would be a good opportunity to get my bike looked at while having a coffee. It turned out that the owner was a Tour De France stage winner, Edy Schütz! I was over the moon that my bike’s headset was serviced by him and his son.

George: quite an eventful day. I didn't have any cycling legs this morning and so everything was tough to start with.  I managed to cheer myself up with a few songs on route though. We stopped to have hot chocolate and fix the bike - it was great to meet Edy.  We cycled along a horrible road to get to hotel – busy with cars, and dinner took three hours (agh!) but Luxembourg was beautiful although I have no idea where the borders are (I think we’ve left it now ;-))

My biggest worry now is whether I’m going to fit into my suit trousers for work next week…my cycling thighs are massive!!

Paul: The supposed easiest day of the tour did not turn out quite so easy with a challenging ride into Bastogne, two burst tyres (Me & Jamie), a chain problem (Steve) and most concerning a Wonderwall duet from Steve and George!!!

The morning ride was brilliant, lovely clear roads, mini races and a lovely hot chocolate break in Luxemburg. We even met with a Tour de France legend Eric Schütz who won a stage of the race in 1966. Eric even managed to fix my damaged wheel following my earlier exploits in the Alps, both him and his son were great!! We are all off to eat in the Bastonge which has great historic significance with the second world war, it even has a an American tank in the main square. I just hope Kyle does not take it out for a spin, the consequences would be very grave. Finally, big thumbs up to Adrian, despite being battered and bruised following his earlier scrape (he's fine - ed.) he has not complained once and indeed has seemed to get stronger on the bike. Top man!!!


Adrian and Steve are still alive, but are asleep and I don't want to wake them asking for their blog entries.  It's likely they enjoyed their meeting with 'Edy' and I'm sure Adrian enjoyed the visit to the cake shop immensely. Steve's Wiggo sideburns are coming along a treat - he's winning the competition so far.

The boys have three days left - with one of the hardest at the end (cycling through Central London on a busy Friday - madness).  They are due back at the Rose and Crown Chorleywood on Friday at 7pm.  We have a party arranged in the pub and the boys want as many people as possible to come along to welcome them back.  There's a bbq and live music (with a £10 contribution to their charities for the grub and entertainment). It would be great if we could pack the pub out.  

Onwards and upwards - here comes day 13 (yikes..)

Coverage on the official Help for Heroes website

We are really pleased that Help for Heroes are helping to promote our tour. Check out the coverage here Link to website

Monday, 20 August 2012

Day 12 - route

Day 11 - overview

A relatively easy day for the boys today - no enormous hills, no bike malfunctions and no interesting incidents.  The delirium is beginning to set in though -with aching legs, tired heads and memory loss (George thinks that today is day 10...).  See below for some individual updates:

Someone should have told George that it wasn't 'wear your
yellow jersey to School' day today

Day 11 - Paul
The early starts are definitely paying dividends in terms of us reaching our daily destination ahead of schedule and minimising the time we spend on the bike in the searing heat. The downside, I know a number of the lads really miss a big morning fuel up, particularly Jamie and Adrian. Today was a fairly comfortable 80 miles but I must admit the rolling hills don’t allow you to get into a rhythm, after the Alps my climbing legs are not great as is my on-going derriere issue. As always the banter was brilliant, having George sing ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ and the ‘ma nam a na’ song does take your mind of things. Stu is still on high alert with the mystery wolf attack.
I loved attending Jamie’s bike maintenance school and reaching the 1000 milestone is a major achievement for all the team. The finishing line is now in sight!!! Special hugs and kisses to Emily and Grace, I can’t wait to see you both. Xxx 

Jamie: Day 11: 
Birkenwald to Kanner (82 miles) – Today was tough, not on paper, but we rushed off in the morning without a proper breakfast. My energy levels felt low and I couldn’t keep my eyes open on the bike. Luckily, we came across a small local bakery which saved the day.
Today’s route was full of undulating roads. Steve, and I were attacking the descents and slingshoting each other up the hills. Great fun, but was probably not the most economical use of energy. Consequently, I started to fade again during the last 15 miles but still couldn’t resist accepting Stu’s hill sprint challenge, I reckon I edged him by a wheel's length.
Just been for a meal outside the hotel. It had the word "Buffet" in large font on the outside, yet there was no buffet. absolutely gutted! 
Day 11– Stu
Today was good fun, we have eventually found Jamie’s Achilles heel, don’t let him eat, and then keep attacking every climb!! We set off so early that Jamie was unable to devour his usual 5000 calorie breakfast, and by his own words had his worst day’s riding of the tour as a result!! Steve and I fully exploited Jamie’s predicament, but I should add that he still beat me to the top of every hill, but by metres rather than minutes!! 

George (bless him):
Ok so we are at the end of day 10 and passed the 1000 mile mark! We swapped the mountains of the Alps for the rolling hills of the Alsace. Beautiful and much easier on the legs. The tour has been v eventful but there have been so many it is hard to summise, especially as i dont update often. Thankfully the weather has cooled down a smidge from the 40C to about 30C but the thunderstorms are just round the corner.
Legs are tired and bottom is sore and the blisters on the hands are painful but the thought of the welcome home party is keeping us all going. plus i think adrian and james are about to abuse an all you can eat buffet!
Tomorrow i am hoping to learn how to upload photos.
Cheers all!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Day 11 - Birkenwald to Kanner - route map

Day 10 - overview of the day

Today was meant to be an easy day, but after some hi-jinks on a cycle-path and jiggery-pokery resulting in Jamie doing part of the route twice (they'll explain when they get back!) the boys eventually arrived in Birkenwald mid-afternoon.  Staying in a hotel with a sauna, jacuzzi and swimming pool was very much appreciated, and so the boys made the most of the facilities and rounded off the day with a lovely meal in the restaurant.

Paul sums up the day nicely:
Double figures in days travelled, 920 miles on the clock, there is a smell of the finishing line in sight. Generally a more comfortable couple of days, a lot less climbing and more time to relax, particularly today in our hotel in Birkenwald, which is lovely. A real treat to have a Jacuzzi, sauna and swim and enjoy some fabulous food. 

Unfortunately my derriere has seen better days and although I have not undertaken a full examination (not a pleasant thought I know) I fear a plastic surgeon will need to be on standby when I arrive back in Chorleywood. Stu is still convinced he was attacked by a ferocious wolf, but despite the continuous howling jokes and micky taking is standing by his story. Over and out from basecamp Rome to Home, Luxembourg here we come.

There seems to be some confusion over where the boys are going tomorrow with Paul thinking he's going to Luxembourg, Stu thinking he's going to France and George wishing he was propping up the bar at the Rose and Crown in Chorleywood.....

Wherever they end up it's likely they will be travelling through some cracking thunder-storms (sorry about the pun - it's living with George that does it).

There isn't much in the way of wifi in the hotel (it's in the middle of a beautiful forest) and so I've only got one photo for you from today, which makes George look like he's not got any legs and is a midget.  So I'll leave you all with this little gem:

Whole stole George's legs?

Interesting cycle lane