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, 4 April 2012

Last of the March Hares

British Summer Time actually felt like it was summer time! With an afternoon temperature of circa 20 degrees and a cloudless blue sky, we could could not have been a better day for getting out on the bike. Christopher, had come back for a short break from his medical studies so we all set off on our own, very circuitous route which became more of a nature trail!
After passing the windmill on Reigate Heath we had our first encounter with Surrey’s wildlife. In a field by the top of Trumpets Hill we came across these strange looking sheep.
And then a mile further on we passed the deer herd sunning themselves in the parkland of Wonham Manor.
We continued on our 34 mile, circuitous ride to the tea shop at Tulley’s Farm. Cycling along a narrow, off-road woodland track at Shipley Bridge we encountered our next bit of wild life. A rather large, running horse which had obviously escaped from it’s field. I don’t know who was frightened the most, us or the charging horse!
Tulley's farm sandwiches and salad platter were very generously portioned.However there was one disappointment.Seeing the sign which said ”No ifs or buts, you must come and see our beautiful bunny girl, wearing nothing but a fur coat!” , this is what we found.
This had been a very interesting ride, much of it thru wooded lanes and the day’s sunshine had worked it’s magic for as we climbed the hill up to Nutfield ridge we saw our first display of very early bluebells. Proof that British Summer Time has indeed arrived!
A short break before our Tuesday ride took us over 100miles for the week. Making the most of this glorious weather we did another circuitous route, to our tea stop at Four Elms. After the long climb up Ide Hill we had the welcome view of Bough Beech Reservoir in the valley below, and proving that spring had definitely sprung, a mass of bluebells on the wooded hill top where we frolicked more or less gaily.
Kent has long been known as the Garden of England, and as we pedaled up the hill into the lovely village of Chiddingstone we had sweeping views of green fields and hedgerows, stretching into the distant high ground of the Weald. And what could be more representative of the farming tradition of the hop fields of the Garden of England than it’s many oast houses.