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!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Onwards and upwards

The road to Pola de Allande rises and falls several hundred meters at a time so we had a day of serious mountain climbing enroute to Beducedo. Fantastic scenery especially at Grandas de Salime where the river forms a gorge and the Spanish have built a hydroelectric dam. The drop to the dam was 600m vertically at an 8% gradient and although it was not steep on the other side we still had 15km of constant climbing to our overnight stop at Berducedo. Very little accomodation in the town and the landlady at Casa Rural took pity on us when she realised we were her only option apart from another long ride to Pola de Allande and setup a room specially for us. Fried egg and chips at the local taverna tasted great after such a hard day - 75km of mountain roads.
This morning saw us go over the pass at Puerta del Palo at 1146m this is literally our highest point of this trip. By contrast Mt Snowdon is 1085m high so we have had a hard slog with all our luggage. No wonder the huge vultures were keeping an eye on us.
Lunch down here at Pola Allande followed a sensational 10km of swooping downhill ride. Hope everyone back home is having a brilliant Olympics while we are out here having an adventure. :-)

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