The Macmillan Jersey Cycle Challenge is not for the faint hearted. We follow the progress of the team of brave cyclists through the sun-kissed fields of central France.
We follow the team courtesy of Adrian Rowland, one of the cycling team, who is documenting the experience for Macmillan.
Covid issues aside, there has been so much going on behind the scenes to get this trip up and running. It’s hard to understand the extent of the effort that’s gone in and we must applaud all those who have helped get us here.
Events like this are always difficult to organise and whilst we have the brilliant support of Discover Adventure once we get to our starting point, the logistics of getting everyone there with their own bikes is something that takes a huge amount of effort and organisation.
Immense thanks must go out to Jersey Post for the provision of the transportation but especially to Lee and Jamie Racjan and the whole Logistics Team for planning the safe transportation of our bikes to Lyon. Both the lorry and the van have been fitted out with amazing bracketing to ensure the safe transportation of our hugely valuable cargo.
The team assembled at the ‘Steam Clock’ to receive bikes. Removing the front wheels and packing them in personalised padded wheel bags whilst securing the bike frames to the transportation chassis was watched and admired by all. Our bikes have never been in safer hands.
Up and off early the next day, we met at Jersey Airport for the 07:25 departure on BA to Heathrow. There was huge excitement and a little apprehension, but it’s too late for that now. This is the real thing.
Hanging around at airports is never much fun, but with a crowd of like minded friends to help pass the time of day, it wasn’t long before we hit the bar (after a hearty breakfast) and used the excuse that a a couple of beers would help us all sleep on flight BA0362 for our departure point in Lyon.
The guys in the lorry and the van had arrived earlier that afternoon and we all thought they had set about unhitching the bikes from their secure fixtures and putting wheels back on in readiness for us all arriving to check our machines over, but no, they’d set off to explore Lyon and will be getting up early tomorrow morning to get the bikes ready. After the delay of yesterday’s boat who’d begrudge them a bit of down time?
An on time arrival at Lyon airport was very welcome, but we then spent an hour waiting for our coach which we discovered was at the airport’s other terminal. A 35 person strong crocodile then trekked between terminals and soon we were aboard the coach and heading to our hotel to be united with the entire cohort.
Rooms were quickly located and we assembled for dinner. The team from Discovery Adventure (‘DA”) gave us our briefing on tomorrow’s ride and explained how the whole route has been signposted with their famous Orange Arrows.
Lauren Perchard-Pees, Executive Director/Cancer Support Specialist, gave a stirring speech full of encouragement and reminding us all the reasons that we are all here, which is to raise much needed funding for the great work carried out by Macmillan in Jersey.
Tomorrow we will be up and out by 07:30 and setting off on our first 143km of the Challenge. I’m afraid that the excitement of the whole trip may have been a little too much and the could be a couple of sore heads tomorrow morning but nothing like the sore legs of tomorrow night. Bring it on!