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!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Picos de Europa

Having travelled to Soto de Cangis at a leisurely pace yesterday we put a hard shift in today. The Picos de Europa National park started at the Covadonga lakes and they are located in the mountains here at a height of 1100m. The ride is 20km long from our hotel and climb only starts near the basilica at 7km. This leaves an average gradient of 10% for 10km. No wonder this route is featured in the Spanish cycling tour every year. Taking a decision to makd the ascent wss almost automatic after drinking another bottle of the local cider.
Des took the bus leaving Ricky, Chris and myself to face the climb without our leader. 1200km of cycling before today has taken its toll plus I nearly killed myself the last time Des left us alone so we took it easy.
It was a very tough ride indeed and the cows and goats in the road really didn't help.
When we got to the top we had a brief break for some ham, egg and chips before going on a simple walk. Christopher seems able to charm donkeys but the demand that we cycle up to the viewpoint at nearly 1200m so that he could update his facebook profile picture was a bit much!
On the way down we cycled past the impressive Covadongs Basilica where we are going to mass tonight. Tomorrow will ge one of our longest rides at 100km so early to bed tonight!

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