Cycling is my sport nowadays and it was great fun combining something I love with raising money to support such a worthwhile enterprise. PM+M have been Youth Zone patrons since the early days and we are always impressed by the achievements of the young people involved in the project.
Alongside me in supporting the Youth Zone were Jamie Allison and Richard Robinson from Napthens. We were joined by a group of around 75 people, ranging in cycling ability from beginner to advanced, all raising money for worthwhile causes.
Day 1: Croydon – Portsmouth
An early start at the Hilton Croydon for the 80 odd miles to Portsmouth. After an introduction and a few photos we set out. Although the regularly scheduled stops and drinks breaks took some getting used to, once we got going, the pleasant weather and rolling countryside made for an auspicious start to the trip.
— PM+M Accountants (@pmm_acc) July 24, 2014
Day 2: Le Havre – Rouen
The following morning there were a few bleary eyes as we set out, bright and early, at 4:30am. We caught the 7:00am ferry to Le Havre and upon ‘arrivée en France’ hit the road. We were greeted with wonderful weather combined with spectacular French countryside, the result of which was a thoroughly enjoyable ride and the 70 miles to Rouen flew by. That night, by way of reward for the day’s efforts, we took the opportunity to explore the town and sample a few of the local wines and ales.
Jamie and Richard moving well …. before lunch. pic.twitter.com/QgcAYJ8Z3c
— Tony Brierley (@Tony_Brierley) July 25, 2014
Day 3: Rouen – Vernon
— Napthens (@NapthensOnline) July 25, 2014
The shortest day of the trip. I opted for an early start and went ahead of the group. By lunch I had completed the 60 miles to Vernon giving me the chance to catch up with some family living in the area.
Day 4: Vernon – Paris
Bois de Boulogne – 10m to go. Can you be arrested for this sort of thing? pic.twitter.com/NEruqG1hLr
— Tony Brierley (@Tony_Brierley) July 26, 2014
The final leg of the journey, Vernon to Paris, was kind to us with very flat, smooth roads and despite the traffic we kept a quick pace. As we closed in on Paris we regrouped and the 75-strong team cycled into the city, around the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs-Élysées and finished at the Eiffel Tower. That night, after dinner and speeches at the hotel, we celebrated the end of our trip with a lively night out in the French capital.
The following day we were lucky enough to witness the conclusion of the ‘real’ Tour de France as they replicated our own arrival in Paris 24 hours earlier.
— Blackburn Youth Zone (@blackburnyz) July 26, 2014
To date, we have raised over £3000 for the Youth Zone and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored us! Check out the slideshow below for a few more pictures of our trip. And, to find out more about Blackburn Youth Zone click here.