Who stole May and June?
It has been a couple of months since we last added to our blog. In once sense, this is disappointing as I always think the sign of a well cared for website is an up to date blog. However, on the other hand it has been great to be busy!
Over the past couple of months we have had an absolute blast! Firstly, we have really enjoyed helping out the AWOL O Shea cycling team as they give their young female riders some great racing experience across the continent. I am full of admiration for people who run cycling teams - it is both a fragile business model and chaotic organisational test, however Pat and his team do a magnificent job and have been a real pleasure to work with.
At the beginning of June, we had the great privilege of organising a trip for San Fairy Ann CC to Provence. 32 guests sampled the beauty of Sault - a magnificent town in the shadow of Mont Ventoux. Whilst we were a couple of weeks prior to the 'purple explosion' in the lavender fields, the Provencal countryside provided an epic backdrop for some amazing rides.
The Gorges de la Nesque is one of the most stunning roads we have ever ridden. It is simply incredible. Sadly, I lack the vocabulary to do its beauty justice, so I can only implore every reader to add it to their bucket list.
Mont Ventoux features on many a cyclists bucket list. It is a mountain with a well earned reputation as a fearsome test. Of our group one successfully completed the Cingles, whilst every rider completed at least one full ascent. The bulk of the group took on the Bedoin ascent on day 2, including myself, whilst the climb itself is incredibly difficult, the oppressive heat through the forest made the climb incredibly difficult as keeping body temp/heart rate down was a real challenge. However, the last stretch from Chalet Reynard to the summit is a real privilege to ride and you can't help, but be overcome by the scale of the mountain and rugged beauty.
We will be running our own trip to Provence in September 2022 and will once again be staying in Sault. We cannot wait!!
London to Paris
We have recently returned from our first 'point to point' challenge with 19 riders taking on a ride from London to Paris, via Calais, Lens and Compiegne. On paper, day 1 is the hardest as we use a route that traverses the North Downs through Kent. The high temperatures on that day meant this was indeed a stern test, however everyone made the 1805 ferry..........except the support car who got held up through security!!
Day 2 took the riders on a 150km route from Calais to Lens. Usually this is a great route, with a cobbled climb to the beautiful Cassel being the only real challenge. However, mother nature had other plans as by mid afternoon all riders were melting in the
40 degree heat. However, every rider completed the test and were able to take in the awe inspiring Canadian War memorial at the Vimy Ridge (pictured), before descending to the hotel in Lens.
Fortunately day 3 was was much cooler and all riders had a great day on the bike. The route traversed the front line from 1916 and crossed the River Somme before concluding in Compiegne. The last push to Paris was another great day with a tailwind and kind temperatures meaning that once the riders left the historic Compiegne forest they were able to enjoy the ride into the French capital.
Sadly, the ride through the Paris suburbs is very busy and it can feel like your breathing in heavy exhaust fumes. However, once you reach the opera house you can enjoy the wide boulevards and role down to The Louvre. The whole group congregated at the Louvre and enjoyed a ride up the Champs Elysee and round the Arc du Triomphe before heading to the Eiffel Tower. This is an experience like no other, and despite the chaos oF parisien traffic, it was an absolute blast!!
We would like to thank Bluelight Cycling Club and Wills and Trusts for joining us on this adventure - they were an awesome group!!
Next up for us is a few weeks in the Alps - checking new routes and hotel options for 2023. Once we return we are set for a busy Autumn with trips to Majorca, Portugal, provence and Flanders on the horizon.
If any of our trips interest you or you would like to investigate your own bespoke trip then please let us know and we can get to work!
Thanks for taking the time out to read this blog and we hope paths cross in the future,