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  1. #1
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    The race back to Britain, 2017

    This time next week I shall be situated on French/Spanish border. I will have with me a bicycle. And my plan is to ride it, as quickly as my legs allow, back to the United Kingdom.

    Unlike a tour I did a couple of years back from Land's End to John O' Groats, there will be a time constraint in place ( a pre-booked ferry) which means I have five days to get from the south to the north of France this equates to at least 100 miles of cycling per day, which in turn will most probably equate to a severely dented psyche and a moderately pounded batty. Yet a hiatus away from the rigours and travails of modern life in the western world is sorely needed, and a week or so a-wheel on the continent should shake out a few cobwebs - not to mention the added benefit that I shall be spending the lion's share of time in a country which evented drinking wine for breakfast. Oh yes, let's make no bones about this although the daily riding mileage will be high, so indeed will be the consumption of vin rouge.

    I've ridden a reasonable amount of mileage so far this year, but most of that has come via commutes to work which just about amounts to thirty miles per go not the most arduous of tests. So last Saturday I decided it high time to give my legs a thorough and concise workout by way of a 70-mile jaunt through the South Downs. And I'll confess right now that I'm a little concerned. I concluded that little amble after having accumulated an alarming amount of aches and pains. And that certainly doesn't bode well for the gargantuan bollocking I'm about to give my thighs.

    To make things better after this unpleasant wake up call I made haste to the local chip shop and relieved them of 10 pounds worth of traditional English fare after all, the onslaught of snails and onions and what-have-you is imminent.




    I'm eshewing GPS options this time around in favour of traditional mapping - you know where you stand with a map, I hope.



    Will keep the thread updated throughout the week, and take you along on the journey with me.

    Let's see if I've got the bottle.

    Wish me luck.

  2. #2
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    wasabi's Avatar
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    Wish you luck, beware of those Tuk Tuks .

  3. #3
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    Neverna's Avatar
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    Good luck.


    Bon Voyage.



    Chok dee.

  4. #4
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    Nice one STS!! Wishing you a fruitful and worthwhile journey.



    Me mudda has taken to European cycling for the last 3 years with her college roommate.

    They've "done" planned routes in France, Italy and most recently, Estonia.

    I believe their days vary but they average 35/45 miles a day.

    They're around 70 y/o (!!)



    Have a great trip!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    a hiatus away from the rigours and travails of modern life in the western world is sorely needed
    Seems to be a dash of this in most threads lately.

  6. #6
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    Bon voyage and bonne chance.

    Good luck mate.

  7. #7
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    I bought a bike yesterday and went on a 30 min journey
    I'm fucked today
    That's epic what you're doing
    Good luck

  8. #8
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    Scottish Gary's Avatar
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    When i saw the thread headline i thought this was going to be a story about Brit pensioners living in Spain post Brexit

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    although the daily riding mileage will be high, so indeed will be the consumption of vin rouge.
    Your going to need some serious carbs Slap, might want to take a peek at this...



    Best of luck

  10. #10
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    Good onya mate ballsy effort.Just think how good the beers will taste at the end of the day.


  • #11
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    Some stylish cyclists in France, looking forward to your pics.

    Here's a few to wet your appetite...


















  • #12
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Thanks all - it's nice to have the support of the TD collective.

    As well as the increased daily mileage, there's a couple of aspects of this trip which is going to make it a tougher than 2015's LeJog.

    Firstly, my French is 'ou est la picine' at best. Communication will certainly be an issue and could ultimately amount to both starvation and sleeping in the fucking woods, or on the beach ( ou est la plague). But I suppose most importantly Kronenbourg is still Kronenbourg, so if things starting getting dodgy I shall hole up in a local bar/tabac and make the best of a bad situation by blowing the froth off several dozen litres of that most delicious of alcohlic beverages and startling madamoiselles with loud, abnoxious and possibly amorous barkings of ' ou est le bonk'.

    Four years of secondary school French lessons were not, repeat not, wasted on Monsieur Slap.

    Secondly, I have opted - for reasons only known to the inner-most workings of my subconscious - to undertake this journey in early spring. If you are on nodding terms with Northern European weather patterns you will understand that this probably isn't the wisest of times to go. Even central Spain at this time of the year is erratic with regards to both temperature and rainfall, and looking at the forecast for the next week at the French/Spanish border one is met with a smorgasbord of varying degrees of shite weather...

    100 miles in the rain. Erm. How can I put this? Ou est la gare?


  • #13
    Thailand Expat klong toey's Avatar
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    Good luck Mr Slap just remember they ride on the wrong side of the road across the channel.

  • #14
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klong toey
    Good luck Mr Slap just remember they ride on the wrong side of the road across the channel.
    Mr T, if I might refer you to exhibit A. Pictured below is a road in France. Notice that running parallel is a narrow lane custom designed for bicycles - a bike path, if you will. If the French have done anything right, it's cycling infrastucture. They have fucking bossed it.



    Now all that's required is to get there - by train, no plane - and point my bicycle in a northerly direction. I have downloaded a suitable soundtrack for this little expedition...

    Listen dis...


  • #15
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    looks a piece of piss compared to your Lands End to john o groats slog, mate.
    You should be able to do that not half but fully twatted.

    Can we have an itinerary of what towns youre gonna be stopping at for clunge pics?

  • #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chittychangchang View Post

    Now there's a saddle I'd love to sniff!

    Top work Slap. May the wind be on your back.
    I'll be back in London for a while in the next few months so might join you for a cycle down the chippy

  • #17
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    Bon chance mon ami.
    Was looking at a new Schwann (sp) road bike today but the legs are in a parlous state, as are the job prospects.
    Book yersel in for a Thai massage when yer get back buddy.

  • #18
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    Check this one out, 2 mins of heaven..

  • #19
    Thailand Expat klong toey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    Mr T, if I might refer you to exhibit A. Pictured below is a road in France
    That's good news when i lived in Tressan they had cut out policeman by the side of the road to try and prevent speeding.
    So don't be fooled if you think you have spotted a policeman no need to slow down its probably a wooden cut out.

  • #20
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger
    Can we have an itinerary of what towns youre gonna be stopping at for clunge pics?
    The itinerary is basically ride this...



    ...as quickly as possible. The quicker I get to the top, the quicker I can put my feet up in a little bar/tabac and consume obscene quantities of bierre et frites.



    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnasty2017
    Top work Slap. May the wind be on your back.
    Cheers Alberto. But I think, as some research has suggested, the only wind at my back is gonna be coming via my arse. Northern winds are apparently very much en vogue in the south of France.



    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui
    Bon chance mon ami.
    Cheers Chaz.

    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui
    Book yersel in for a Thai massage when yer get back buddy
    Yes, I'm going to require several hours of boisterous manipulation upon my return, mainly concentrating on the backside I fear.

  • #21
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    I have driven that route in a 2.3 Cortina and enjoyed it, stopping in Bayonne and Bordeaux. My mate has a pub in a village called Plouye in Brittany so if you fancy a pint go there. It is called "Tafarn Ty Elise". Beautiful part of the world !

  • #22
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    didnt Withnall do some cattle worrying in Brittany not so long back?

  • #23
    Thailand Expat klong toey's Avatar
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    There was a rumour going around that Stoker had a penchant for baguettes.
    The story I heard was the traffic cone was removed and in went the loaf.

  • #24
    Thailand Expat Luigi's Avatar
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    Gordon Bennett.

    Good on ya Slappers. 'ell of a ride.


    Did a two week summer bike tour of Brittany when I was 14 with me pops. Lovely place.




    Was able to get a few porno rags back too, sold from the local grocery shops. Fokin top trip that was.

  • #25
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger
    didnt Withnall do some cattle worrying in Brittany not so long back?
    Withnall has friends in Brittany, some of who are actually human and don't go 'baa'.



    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi
    Did a two week summer bike tour of Brittany when I was 14 with me pops.
    You look fucking livid there mate - hilly in Brittany, isn't it.

    Of the whole trip, though, this seven kilometre section will probably be the trickiest part to negotiate. Still, I have three hours to do it, so the unflappable Monsieur Slap should face no significant difficulties.


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