About 8 years ago whilst holidaying in South West France I started thinking about cycling the west coast and on 16th June this year I completed the 1,000km (625 mile) journey in 10 days of cycling.
The first step on the journey was in April, 2016 when I cycled the 4 day 320km to Paris to support my son running the marathon. In June 2016 I walked the 26 miles of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks albeit sluggishly. This gave me the belief but also the knowledge that I needed to improve my fitness.
In August 2016 I discovered Fast Track Fit Camp and after a taster session I signed up and haven’t looked back. Exercises that were tough at first have become easier and Heidi’s “give up sugar for February” got my diet on a better footing. After a winter of Warfield Fit-Camp I committed to the ride and on the 4th June I set-off for northern Spain starting the ride from San Sebastian on the 6th.
Travelling light I starter with a hilly but <100km day before reaching the flat forests of the South-West. The sun shone and temperatures rose and stayed around 30 degrees from Day 2 onwards. French cycle routes are excellent and their B roads (and drivers) are cycle friendly so grinding out an average of 100km a day wasn’t too tough albeit the start time came forward in an attempt to avoid the afternoon heat.
I went through some lovely places, met a few locals and with my flaky French managed some interesting conversations. Some of the food was outstanding (and Heidi would have approved) notably I arrived in Bain-de-Bretagne after 80km of hilly terrain at 1pm to find just one restaurant, I ordered the chef’s seafood salad and was presented with the most magnificent prawn, Smoked Salmon and fish pate salad watered down with a cool lemonade.
The route wasn’t too hilly but over the 10 days I climbed 5,500 metres including the South Downs as I cycled the last leg from Portsmouth to Bracknell. What next … Fit-camp at 10am the following morning!