Paris is only 4 weeks away!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 12 comments


Paris is only 4 weeks away!

The final countdown for the Poppy Bike ride has begun.



The Royal British Legion has just published this message on its facebook page:


There's less than one month to go before Pedal 2 Paris and we hope you're all looking forward to it. </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Before you get together for the first time on 4 September, we'd like you to introduce yourselves – who you are, where you're based and why you've decided to ride for the Legion…
I’m not sure whether to be excited or alarmed.  
Do you think this reminder is intended to be encouraging or unnerving?

After months and months of thinking about the ‘Pedal to Paris ride’, suddenly, it’s almost upon me.  I don’t know whether I will have trained enough or not. I do hope I will have done so but …I have qualms.


What should my priorities be for my last-minute ‘Pedal to Paris’ preparations?

Given that I’ve only a month left for last-minute tweaks to my training schedule, I googled the web last weekend to find out what the well-prepared cyclist prioritizes. What would you make of these bits of advice?
  •  …cyclists training for long-distance rides should push themselves to the limits to prepare. You should reach your VO2 max, or maximum oxygen consumption capabilities, during training to evaluate your ability to successfully complete a long bike ride. (Ms. Linda Ray)

Oh no! I can’t say that I’ve exactly pushed myself ‘to the limits’ during my carefree whizzes through the country lanes around Castle Coop – I’ve never even heard of ‘VO2 max’ before and I still walk rather than ride my bike up some of the hills.

  • One thing that some cyclists do are longer bike rides. These might be multi day trips or one really long ride of a hundred miles or more. ( Ms. Ava Connor)

100 miles or more? HA HA LOL . Like that’s going to happen….

  • Long distance cycling is more mental than physical…. it’s the mind and the desire to persevere that forces a cyclist onwards. Having a positive attitude keeps a person going forward and over the next hill. (Articlesbase)
…more mental than physical – what???? I’ve less than a month to go and now they tell me that all this time I should have been training my brain to pedal to Paris….


Now that sounds much more do-able…. An officially sanctioned shopping trip – yay, I can manage that!

A Trip to London:

No sooner had I read  that I should get my gear together for the Pedal to Paris ride (as a priority) than I found myself nipping onto a train to go to a bicycle shop in the City, near Liverpool Street.


south west trains

I thought a day shopping in London would be fun and it was! I love the people in their amazing clothes, the shop window displays, the buses, the bustle and all the colour & noise. It’s such an exciting city to be in!

Guess which shopper is me!

London shoppers 2


Yours having come home completely laden with exciting bags full of things to pedal to Paris with,

LLH signature


  1. No, Stuart Whtimore, Sarah MIles, Terry Thomas and James Fox.

    • Ah, I’ll have to shape up!

  2. At the library this morning. In the Wall Street Journal, there is an interview in the Arts section with some famous person (who I confess I had never heard of before, but nonetheless a celebrity) saying his latest binge had been watching “all the episodes of Foyle’s War on Netflix”. Then as I was browsing the prominent display shelves, I saw a Foyle’s War dvd (“Fifty Ships” as it happens) prominently exhibited. Unfortunately no credit given to the work of LLH in publicizing this fine epic.

    I am glad to hear that Wilhelm will be by your side on the great ride. I think you should tell him to wear a shirt saying “Proud supporter of the International Foyle’s War Club” with an appropriate LLH design of course.

    You might consider watching “Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines” shortly before the off to provide appropriate inspiration.

    • Oh; perhaps I could invite your library to join the I.F.N.F.W Club retrospectively -& the not-really-famous celebrity. The R.B.L has just sent me a shirt to wear with ‘Shoulder to shoulder with all who serve’ on it but there is plenty of room for a bit of Foyle’s War Club publicity. I could do a bit of customising.
      As you reccommend ‘Those Magnificent Men’, I shall try and get hold of a copy to watch -didn’t it star David Niven?

  3. If you are leaving at the crack of dawn, I assume that the Agent is taking you to a 5 star hotel the night before to ensure you are well rested prior to departure. I assume also that all your chicks will be at the start to encourage you on your way.
    I have never seen the Russian House, but will have to look for it if scenic Odiham is featured. I didn’t realise it was such a sought after spot!

    • I think we’re going to stay with Chick Ma the night before (who all going well with have just moved into his new pocket handkerchief in Wantstead) and then we’ll cycle to Greenwich to be ready for the ‘off’! Did you know that Chick mi is coming with me as the Agent thinks I’ll get lost?
      They did some filming in Odiham in an early-ish episode when Milner is accused of doing-in his awful wife and then in ‘the Russian House’ too. Lots of rushing about in passages…

  4. Goodness, only a month! Good luck, Lady Liberty! I wish you every success, and am looking forward to part 2 to hear about all the exciting purchases.

    • I’ve so little time left and I don’t feel ready! Thank you so much for your good wishes!
      I really enjoyed reading your last post about yr. holiday travels round Germany and the time you spent on Terschelling with the ice-cream inThe Globetrotting Guitarist. how beautiful it all sounds. Are you singing lots now you’re home again? Hope so! I loved your version of The Calm After the Storm.

    • Thanks, Lady Liberty! 🙂 Had a gig recently and some more will hopefully be lined up soon. Teaching starts again on Monday, so *trying* to buckle down and be prepared. Hope the weather is allowing you to train hard!

    • Oh dear – I should be going out now and I’m sitting here not getting fit! Hope the start to the new term goes very well & that lots of gigs come your way v. soon (which I’m sure they will). 🙂

  5. Well the first thing to do is to make sure that the diet is correct so I trust that the Agent has this fully in hand and is busy planning a series of appropriate dinners for the next month to ensure that your body is a finely honed machine at peak energy when the command to mount your cycles is given to all. Speaking of which where do you actually start from?

    The second thing is what’s with all this “exciting bags full of things” and no drawings, no clues or anything??? Are you saving all this for part 2?

    Watched “Inside Foyle’s War” last night – a bit odd as they hadn’t persuaded Michael Kitchen to be one of the people interviewed!

    • Dear Digby,
      1. Unfortunately, there is room for manoeuvre re the diet as I’ve just eaten an enormous bowl of ice-cream which isn’t meant to be part of the plan. There is no finely honed machine to be seen as yet but I remain hopeful. I think the Agent might be more sanguine however.
      2. We set off from Greenwich Park at the crack of dawn (which is a blow).
      3. See Part 2 for the low down on the exciting purchases v. kindly bought for me by the Agent yesterday. I’m using the literary device known, I think, as ‘the teaser’ here.
      4. Isn’t the fab M. Kitchen generally agin interviews? Was it good? I watched ‘The Russian House’ again at the weekend which I enjoyed as bits were filmed in Odiham.

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