Well we did it and amazingly still married and talking – but only just!

All went well, arrived in good time, perfect weather conditions and we left in the first wave at 9.30 a.m. and I could not understand why Gill was dragging behind, struggling on the hills. It was only after 5 to 6 miles (Gill will say 10) and having freed her front wheel a couple of times that I realised that her front brake was permanently on! I had not reset a spring having removed the front wheel to fit in the car!

Things could only get better, or so we thought, until we discovered that somehow we had missed a sign for the long route arriving at the lunch stop well ahead of schedule at which point we decided to retrace our steps adding I guess another 8 miles as if 68 miles was not enough. As a result we missed the majority of the organised facilities including lunch and arrived back in Brockenhurst at approximately 5 p.m.

As I anticipated the suggestion of rolling hills was to say the least a euphemism and I would certainly add a few expletives to describe a number of very steep and long hills. Anyway we completed and we did have a good tea at the Balmer Lawn Hotel knowing that we had raised over £1,000 for Help for Heroes so the pain and sweat was worth it. A very long day as we did not get home until approximately 8.30 p.m. as we were then stuck in the endless traffic queue at Lyndhurst.

Thanks for sponsoring us, and particularly those who have prepaid, and I would be grateful if those who have not could now let me have a cheque in settlement so that we can forward all the money to Help for Heroes. Cheques payable please to Help for Heroes and sent to the office.

It may be a few days until either of us get back on our bikes as we both found this little adventure a lot harder than the Paris ride of 350 miles!


Geoff and Gill Reeve