Picos Original Riders

Picos Original Riders
Highlights of 2010

Last of the Picos Riders - to Rome Alone!

Our first two charity rides were a huge success - raising over £20,000 for the South East Cancer Help Centre.

The Centre does a fantastic job of supporting patients and carers at the most difficult times of their lives. They make a real difference and you could help them in their work by contributing to our fundraising. Donations can be made via JustGiving.comhttps://www.justgiving.com/Tom-Vaz/ or directly into the Centre. For more details of the Centre and their work see their website at http://www.sechc.org.uk/

After 3 years of rest it seemed time to dust off the old muscles, bones and sinews and do one more spectacular ride in aid of this fabulous charity.

This time I will travel alone for 25 days, mainly following the ancient pilgrimage route to Rome, the Via Francigene, covering a distance of around 1,400 miles.

The route travels through Newhaven - Dieppe - Paris before I eventually reach the Via Francigene in Eastern France. From then on it is pretty simple apart from having to cross the Alps without an elephant!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Picos Riders Meet the Queen

The Jubilee weekend was a bit of a washout, weather wise. The best day was Saturday and Ricky, Tom and I made the most of this best day with an interesting ride down to Ardingly Reservoir. Ricky is the newest recruit to the Picos Riders team.
As the next day was to be the magnificent Jubilee boating event on the Thames. Our first port of call was to visit the lakes on Earlswood Common. No boats but plenty of swans!

Since the time of Queen Elizabeth I the reigning monarch owns all wild swans living in open water, and we were convinced that this was Her Mag viewing some of her swans. Doubts only arose because we could not see any corgies!
Our next stop was for tea at Balcombe where we waited for ages to get served. So long that it became a lunch stop. But we did enjoy the scrambled eggs on toast washed down with a gallon of tea.

From there, down to the reservoir is particularly scenic, down a wooded lane, past the old watermill and mill pond, over the stream and then taking the bridle path alongside the stream to the huge reservoir.
After all the heavy rain of late, it was now looking very full and the sailing fraternity were making the most of the sunny day.
It is a long and steep climb up from the reservoir valley, and after crossing over the B2028 we took another little lane which leads to West Hoathly.

And it was here, outside the old parish church of West Hoathly, that we did meet her Maj, resplendent in regal gown.

And to prove it, Tom took a photo for the Picos Riders’ scrap book.

It is a tradition in the little hamlets of this part of Sussex to have an annual summer festival where a variety of effigies of people are displayed. This year it was royal effigies to mark the Queen's Jubilee. We cycled past Queen Victoria, Princes Albert, Philip, William, Harry, knights in armour and much more. Doesn't it make one proud to be British!

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