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!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Day 14 Ivrea to Moncalieri

Just a nice, simple day was planned until I realised Luke was in Turin and that was just 34 miles away! So we arranged to meet for lunch at 1pm. Me travelling on a bike and Luke walking a few hundred yards. Guess who was late? Of course it had to be him.

His excuse was that he had to see as many museums as possible because they were going to be shut tomorrow. Oh well, so much for Dad's doing this long ride for charity etc...

Then he started off with I've read your blog and it's rubbish apart from Nina's sarcastic comments! Oh so hurtful Luke,  I don't know why I bought you lunch after that.

Actually the ride from Ivrea was really delightful, with the Italian Alps in the background and lakes and small villages en route. The last stretch into Turin was a bit weird as the Italians have just painted lines on the pavements to mark a cycle lane. Quite often the curbs haven't been lowered to allow you onto the pavement and of course there are the trams!

I emerged near Piazza Vittorio Veneto to find pedestrians, cars, tramlines and me all squeezed into a narrow archway and I nearly fell off the bike as the tyres slipped on the tram line.

Octopus for lunch! As we had lunch Luke noticed that my tan lines have reached absurd levels. This is my right arm where my short sleeves have left a remarkable before and after. I have distinct glove and knee support marks as well just in case a body turns up and you need to identify me.

Luke took me to the iconic Museo Nazionale del Cinema which is the image used in the Italian 2 cent euro coins. Apparently it was intended as a synagogue but has just ended up as a fancy building.

After we split up I made my way past the Chiesa della Gran Madre di Dio where the minis were filmed going down the stairs in the "Italian Job".

And finally this evening in a restaurant I had another of my Mr Bean moments. As I was rummaging in my day bag I sliced the tip off one of my fingers on my razor (don't ask what it's doing in there). With blood dripping and me holding my hand in the air to stop the bleeding and ask a waitress for the bill I expected to receive prompt service. Fat chance!!! They ignored me for a full 10 minutes as if it was normal to have bleeding customers (you know what I mean! ).

I quite literally left them no tip (hahaha).

43 miles today


  1. Luke must be mistaken, because nothing can be worse than my mums sarcastic comments.

  2. 😂 I know one of us is going to get into trouble!