Le Grand Départ – 4 weeks today

I can’t believe where the last few months have gone – it’s something we often say, but for one reason and another it really does feel as if Christmas was just a few weeks ago for us.

All of a sudden reality has hit that 4 weeks from today Andy & the boys will be on their bikes making their way across Dartmoor to catch the night ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff at the start of their rather epic bike ride to the Mediterranean. 

Andy & the boys on a cycle around the Luberon last year

When we first started talking about it ‘Moor to Med’ seemed quite easy – setting a route along canal paths & quiet back roads, enjoying visiting some old haunts from when the boys were little and eventually dipping their toes in the Med at the pretty port of Sete. 
The final destination – the pretty fishing port of Sete in the South of France

Aaah, the delights of rose-tinted (or more likely Rosé-wine tinted) glasses in the depths of a particularly soggy Devon winter, when it’s easy to dream of blue skies, warm evenings & lovely cycling . 
The dream of cycling for miles in the warmth of the Souty of France that got this idea started!

Reality is more that the boys will have their bums on their saddles for over 1500km and will be carrying their camping equipment with them. They will be packing enough chamois cream to keep a professional cycling team going & will be living on bread & cheese in the evenings as they will probably be too tired to do much else, particularly if the camp-site is some distance from a restaurant.

Testing out the tent & getting to grips with the realities of camping

That said (and I must admit now to being rather pleased that I’m no longer cycling with them) it will be a great adventure. The fact that my hubby will be able to spend a couple of weeks (possibly a bit more) with the boys doing an activity that they all love is quite something, as all too soon the boys will head off in one direction or another & poor old Andy will be left pottering along with me (Miss Daisy).

I even have a basket now just to reinforce my slow-lady status!

Over the last month Andy has been getting some training in, in the South of France. The weather was perfect & the riding was simply stunning…..
Cycling through the Gorges de la Nesque in Provence
……. But nothing came close to beating the day when he cycled from the Luberon straight to Sault for breakfast & from there to the Summit of Mont Ventoux, which made him very happy indeed! 
Not sure how he managed to look this happy…… what a ride!

He has since gone back to finish his training with the boys on Dartmoor, but that hasn’t been as successful, with some of the worst June weather we’ve ever seen! 
Our back garden & field earlier today – not exactly good cycling weather

I just hope that the weather improves over the next week so they can all get the rides in that they need to do ahead of their start on 15th July.
So what am I doing to help? Effectively during their ride I’ll be acting as a remote support vehicle, ready to sort out problems if needed (at the drop of a hat – or more likely a text message). I am also trying to help them raise some money 

The boys at the top of the Col du Murs

During their ride the boys will be raising money for the Rugby Charity ‘The Wooden Spoon’, https://woodenspoon.org.uk/ which supports projects for disabled & disadvantaged children. 
All the boys (hubby included) have been involved with rugby for a number of years, although this year both the boys have been knocked back due to injuries – our eldest with a concussion injury that led to him being unwell for 6 months and the youngest with a dislocated shoulder (we’re hoping it survives the cycle!)

They have set up a Just Giving Page  so please support them if you can.


Also I am auctioning 2 pieces of jewellery to (hopefully) help them achieve their fundraising target. As a silversmith ( Dartmoor Silver Designs) I make unique pieces of jewellery using old silver & other antique finds and have chosen 2 of my favourite pieces.

The first is made from an antique silver mustard spoon, which has been added to a 20 inch hand-wired sodalite & silver necklace.

Silver mustard spoon & sodalite necklace – Dartmoor Silver Designs

The second is made from the bowl of an antique silver spoon that has been attached using silver to an Amazonite ring & fitted to an 18 inch silver chain.

Silver spoon & Amazonite necklace – Dartmoor Silver Designs

Both pieces are hallmarked and gift-wrapped and will be sent to the highest bidder when the auction closes on Friday 8th July. More information on my Facebook Page Dartmoor Silver Designs.
In the meantime I just hope that the weather improves to allow the  boys to get some more riding in before they clip in to their pedals to start the cycle! 

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