Posts Tagged "pedal to paris"

The Die is Cast!

Posted by in Castle Coop News, Cycling from London to Paris for WLS & the Royal British Legion | 10 comments

The Die is Cast!

The Die is Cast!

I’ve been for my last training ride.

I thought it would be miserable as it was starting to rain, but it turned out to be brilliant fun!

Under Starter’s Orders:

I was just putting on my helmet when Sir Plym appeared driving his lawnmower. He’d been cutting the grass in the churchyard and on the spur of the moment,  he challenged me to a race down The Street. The Agent drew up the course with the starting line at the church lych gate and the finish at the Ox and Moose. Lady Egality was in charge of waving the chequered flag, aka her hat.

We set off and I couldn’t believe it – it wasn’t even neck and neck.   Maybe I will be fast enough to keep up with everyone else on the Pedal2Paris.

Sir Plym racing


 An encouraging email:

I have been so anxious recently about riding slowly – every other cyclist I meet on the road seems to overtake me. However just after my race, I received an email from kind Dan, the Events Administrator for The Royal British Legion.

Please do not worry about your speed, I am sure you will be fine and find plenty of company in one of our speed groups and our ride captains (they’ll be the riders in red) are a fantastic help.

Don’t you think that is encouraging? It never occurred to me that there might be anyone slow in a ‘speed’ group – perhaps I’ll find a cycling buddy!
And…the thought of ride captains who ‘help’ is very reassuring.

A new shirt arrives!

There was also an exciting post this morning. The Royal British Legion has sent me an official shirt to wear!

cycling shirt 1


Isn’t the bit with the supporters cheering us all on, shouting, Bon Courage !  &  Allez ! fab ?
cycling shirt 2



The die is cast!


I’ve been for my last training ride. It is now too late for me to get any better at cycling, any fitter or any faster.

The die is cast!

Yours, beginning to get really excited,

LLH signature




I have just found this message on the RBL’s Facebook page:
You’ve all been training so hard and putting so much time into fundraising for the Legion, we wanted to say ‘well done’
– and remind you of the important work the charity will be able to do thanks to your superb efforts. Give yourself a pat on the back!


I should like to pass my pat onto all those who have so kindly and generously sponsored me.
Thank you all so much!
RBL facts

Stop Press:

I’ve just been looking on the website of the Paris hotel where the RBL have kindly booked me a room to stay in on Sunday night should I actually manage to stagger up to the Arc de Triomphe..
Here is a promotional photograph showing a suggested  ‘leisure’ activity:
novotel paris est
Is someone having a laugh? 
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Pedal Power!

Posted by in Castle Coop News, Cycling from London to Paris for WLS & the Royal British Legion | 4 comments

Pedal Power!



Pedal Power!

16.93 miles were covered today in the push for Pedal to Paris fitness, according to Map My Ride!


It has been another beautiful day and Lady Egality decided to join me on her bike. We cycled along the lanes in tandem which was very companionable.


About half-way round today’s training route, we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a Chinook manoeuvre..

2014-04-14 16.39.54

We were cycling next to RAF Odiham and watched one of the Base’s Chinooks fly right overhead:

2014-04-14 16.40.07

It looked so ungainly and heavy in the air; we were both mesmerised watching it hover in one spot for simply ages.


photo (7)

It must be a pretty extraordinary feeling to pilot such a whopping machine.

We stayed for a long time watching it; it was sobering to think all the training is necessary for the troops to be prepared for service out in Afghanistan.

2014-04-14 16.34.30

But then we cycled off and, once away from the RAF Base, felt fancy-free again.


[On April 26th, less than 2 weeks after this post was published, 5 military servicemen – 4 of whom were based at RAF Odiham – were killed out in Afghanistan. 

The Basingstoke Gazette report reads: 


‘The crash is the first fatal accident involving a UK military helicopter during the conflict in Afghanistan and it is the third biggest loss of life of British troops in a single incident in the country since the conflict began in 2001.

The incident brings the number of British forces killed in the Afghanistan conflict to 453.’



Maj Gen Richard Felton, Commander Joint Helicopter Command paid tribute saying:

“Events like this, whilst mercifully rare, remind us of the risks our personnel face in their work in Afghanistan as we approach the conclusion of the combat mission later this year.”

BBC News


It is dreadful news.]


An Un-birthday Present!

When the Agent came home tonight, he arrived bearing a parcel for me – how exciting is that!

2014-04-14 15.10.30


 Guess what was inside, wrapped up in all the tissue paper…..

2014-04-14 15.12.23

Pedal Power shoes with cleats attached! Gosh – that’s serious gear! There was even a shoe maintenance manual provided.



Advantages of Click-in Pedals & Bike Shoes


There is no doubt that click-in pedals are safer. They are designed to release quickly and easily. Similar to a ski binding, when you place your shoe onto the pedal and push down, the cleat snaps into place securing it firmly. To unclip, your simply twist your heel away from the bike.  Unclipping becomes second nature very quickly… the advantages of a firm cleat and stiff shoes will soon become very apparent.  The main advantage however, is that you can achieve a more efficient pedal stroke when using click-in pedals. When you learn how to maximise the full rotation of the pedal stroke by pulling up with your feet, your hill climbing ability will improve, as will your ability to pedal at a higher cadence and you’ll find yourself more efficient in the lower gears. All these reasons will lead to a significant improvement in your endurance but will also reduce wear and tear on your knees, helping you to enjoy your cycling for years to come.


I LOVE the idea of getting ‘a significant improvement’ in my endurance and my hill climbing ability just by putting on a new pair of shoes –  what a result – YAY!
It sounds to me as if these product designers are seriously gifted. I need them to concentrate on designing magic shoes for gardening which will give ‘a significant improvement’ in the lack of weeds in the flower beds and some for cooking which will likewise improve my delicious-supper-making ability.
Now I understand why Imelda Marcos ravea about shoes and has all those thousands of pairs!
This magic shoe business is an extremely exciting concept.

2014-04-14 15.13.46

I’ve got to change the pedals on my Poppy Bike to these Power Pedals so that my feet in the new cycling shoes, will snap in and out of them.

2014-04-14 15.15.02

If I forget I’m wearing shoes with cleats, I will keep falling off. So…I’d better concentrate for a change.

I’m going to have to practise clicking in and out of the pedals quite a lot to get the hang of it. Perhaps I should start off on the lawn – what do you think?

Yours hoping I don’t fall off however,

LLH signature

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Eurostar Paris to London!

Posted by in Castle Coop News, Cycling from London to Paris for WLS & the Royal British Legion | 2 comments

Eurostar Paris to London!



I’ve just heard…My Eurostar Paris to London return ticket has been booked!

How exciting is that! I absolutely love travelling on Eurostar. Incredibly, it doesn’t feel at all as if there’s an enormous bit sea on your head and you’re whisked under the Channel in no time whatsoever.


This morning, I received this email from kind Graham at the Royal British Legion re the Pedal to Paris bike ride.


Hi Liberty,


We’ve only seen the sun occasionally this year but I hope that hasn’t hindered your training. (Ha ha Graham, what a good joke!)


Trains back from Paris

As Eurostar have now opened their bookings for September I can confirm our train times as 10.13 & 17.13 for the return trip on the 8th. Your ticket is booked for the 17.13 train, if this isn’t the train you meant to book let me know in the next week and we should be able to change this for you.


Best wishes,



NO.. please don’t change anything! I’m thrilled to bits with everything just how it is and definitely want as much time in Paris as possible.

I’m beginning to think my Poppy Bike ride from London to Paris might actually happen; Graham obviously really thinks I’m going to end up in Paris and will need a train-ride back home!

Yours excitedly,

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