Before the beginning

48 hours to go before we set off for six weeks in France.

The plan is I am going to cycle from Roscoff in northern Brittany to Hendaye on the Spanish border, following the Velodyssee cycle route. As I like to tell people – I am cycling the length of France!

And so far that is very much the plan. I am cycling on my own, not as part of a group. There is no time limit (I am expecting to take between three and four weeks) and all I have is the route as an itinerary. I ought to say before we go any further that I am very lucky to have Wendy as ‘support crew’ driving the motorhome. This means that I won’t even have to carry my own kit. Every morning we will decide where I am going to ride to that day and Wendy will drive off to the next campsite and I will meet her four or five hours later. If we come across an interesting place or the weather is very good, or very bad, then we might spend a couple of days in one place. I am sure that every five or six days I am going to need a rest day too.

Talking of rest days I have been given these plenty of practice. Tom Allen, in his book on cycle touring says there are two schools of thought when it comes to preparing for a cycle tour; there are those who get plenty of miles in before they set off so they are in peak condition for the tripĀ and there are those who use the trip itself to build up their fitness. I have decided to follow the latter course and apart from a couple of outings in the last six weeks I have concentrated on ‘wait training’. As a result I expect that the first week is going to consist of some fairly short distances and then build on this as the adventure continues.

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