Hello World as they say. Its nearly November and this site and the crowdfunder are up and running. Things are starting to come together on the planning front – expect details to start appearing here in the next week as things get firmed up.

It sounds like there might be quite a show through Cornwall and into Plymouth – our job is just to keep on pedalling and keep on talking – Paris is so important, not necessarily for the immediate outcome but simply because the world is finally starting to wake up to what we have been doing for the past 150 years and the implications are stupendous.

My next task is to get a decent front light and a new chain – I don’t fancy riding any long distance with one which broke a couple of weeks ago and I fixed by removing a couple of links. Also think I need to get my bottom bracket serviced.

Before we set off we’ll try and make occasional posts about our bikes and plans – once we are on the road the intention is to do daily updates here – l’accès à internet permitting.


My bike (Roger)

roger150For this ride I’ll be on my 2006 Specialized Tricross Sport with added mudguards and rear-carrier. shown here when it was brand new. 9 speed cassette 11-32T with Deore LX derailleur and 3 chain wheels 28-50T Shimano Sora with Tiagra levers. I like a good low set of gears 28 front, 32 rear is good for sitting down and winding up a Cornish 25% hill however heavily laden. The shop were a bit sniffy when I insisted on adding carrier and mudguards.

My previous 3 bikes had all been Dawes Galaxy, the first lasted 14 years, the next was stolen after about 6 years and the last did another ten years (and to be honest was still serviceable with some new components – I sold it for a song). This Tricross is now 8 years old and still going strong. On its second rear cassette and about third chain. Must have done well over 10,000 miles by now as a mixture of commuting, leisure and touring – that’s credit-card touring, not hard-core carry-everything camping style.

The rear carrier is a Top-peak one with a bag that slides on and has side paniers that fold up when not in use. Slightly heavier than real lightweight stuff, but sturdy and serviceable.


Riding to Ricky’s

roger150So it seemed like a good idea to have a trial run to test that the old legs still worked and the bike was fit – Launceston to Barnstaple is about 85km door to door. Ricky had invited me to talk to a meeting in Barnstaple and offered a bed for the night so it seemed a good idea to go over by bike. Unfortunately I had stuff to do in the morning which didn’t leave enough time to get there before dark, so I loaded the bike on the car and drove up to Sheepwash  which is a bit less than half way. I’d cycled out there a couple of times from home anyway – once to meet himself for a boozy lunch in the Half Moon.

Continue reading Riding to Ricky’s

Never mind the bikes, what about the climate

Time we posted some stuff about why we are going.

I was struck at a meeting last night where someone was talking about the possible outcomes from Paris based on the current opening bids by countries. The headline, much (mis)reported is that current scenario based on proposed commitments (if they were all delivered, if all the positive feedback loops that have been identified but are not included in the calculation do not kick in, if the effects of already baked in changes do not derail things,…etc etc etc) will create a global average temperature rise of 3.5deg Centigrade by 2100.

The trouble is… Continue reading Never mind the bikes, what about the climate

Day 1-Truro to Wadebridge

The train from Liskeard was 10 mins late, but I got to the church on time:-)

Excellent crowd in the cathedral, Birt Biscoe and Julian Germain spoke well, Luci introduced Euan & I and we said a few words. Canon Linda blessed our bikes and the Archbishop Benson children sang for us. Chef Sanjay produced supermarket waste soup, which was delicious and helped power us on our way – cycling down the aisle of Cathedral – how cool is that? Continue reading Day 1-Truro to Wadebridge

New cycle infrastructure between Liskeard and Looe

so day three dawns nice and mizzly as Cornish November days should. Waste a lot of time uploading pics which takes ages so just time to bung them all in a gallery on here before time to leave for Looe.

Its a lovely ride down the Looe valley – in summertime – but not all downhill by any means.

The lane between St.Keyne and Sandplace is proof of Cornwall Council’s stated policy (at a recent planning forum) of “managed decline” of the road network. Rutted, pohtholed,muddy, leaf litter,twigs and small branches strewn over the surface.

However the council have introduced a splendid new bit of cycle infrastructure – the built-in bike wash! A photo will follow, but basically it consists of a 2 foot deep lake the whole width of the lane at the top of the worst bit so that your wheels, chain, chainset,gears and feet get a thorough wash.


Lovely wet feet

One in Four

There will eventually be a photo to illustrate this but on the lane between Tideford and Lantallack there is a genuine 1 in 4 steep hill road sign. None of your 25% namby pamby rubbish. Four step forward, on step up. Euan and I tested it and can vouch for the fact that it is certainly not rideable – especially with Euan’s “man gears” (52-42 front and 12-24 rear with an extra 32tooth granny ring – I haven’t had gears like that since I was well the other side of 40), but my 28 front 34 rear lowest gear wouldn’t hack it. Still we had a nice chat with Laurence Reed on Radio Cornwall at the top.

Lunch at Looe

A lovely reception from Looe Town Council with the Mayor and Councillors, including Edwina Hannaford Cornwall Councillor and also one Luci’s Ambassadors, proffering steaming mugs of tea and good pasties. A tricolour on the wall outside provides a natural photo shoot.

The mizzle stops as well so after a good wide ranging chat its time to move on for what is known to be a lumpy ride to Saltash.

Many thanks to Looe, we’re sure you’ll take on board the report and the pledge s

The first lump of course is getting out of the Looe valley – no way are we riding up themain road so it’s straight up Shutta. Roger gets about 200m before it defeats him. Half way up there’s a sign saying only handcarts, perambulators, invalids carriages and bicycles pushed by hand allowed beyond this point. The idea of doing anything other than hand pushing a bike up there is beyond belief. Invalid Carriages???!

How to dry your clothes when cycling on France

1.Ask random passers by where the laundrette is. It doesn’t matter what language you ask in – so long as you look very wet and slightly filthy and wild eyed they will know what you need.

2.Follow the directions as given asking again whenever unclear.

3.When you find the laverie check there is a bar next-door, preferably empty.

4.Enter and place all wet clothes and shoes in drier. Shut door and insert one Euro

5.Hop into bar watching where you put your bare feet (in case of broken glass – only poor areas have laveries and the streets aren’t swept as often). Order foul Mexican themed lager beer.

6. Drink beer by which time 9 minutes have passed and the dryer has stopped.

Return to laverie and repeat steps 4 to 6 until clothes dry or you don’t care any more.