Two average blokes on their Cooper's (Spa & Reims) riding 215 miles over 2 days with 2 hours sleep! They averaged 13.5 mph, 15ish hours pedalling and climbed a total of 7000 ft (according to the GPS) - which they're both very pleased with!
WELL DONE BOYS!
If you have a story like Louis & Andy we'd love to hear.Category: News & Events
Tags: Spa, Reims, Cooper, Cancer Research,
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The whole thing was very ‘planned in the pub’! We’re not the fittest blokes in the world and although both very keen cyclists, not long distance riders by any stretch of the imagination. I commute to work on my Spa 18 miles a day in rural Herefordshire and have never been further than 44 miles in a single day. Andy gets out on his bikes a little more for leisure, both mountain and road, but hadn’t done more than a 50 mile trip.
Cancer has touched many close friends and family members so we were keen to do our little bit. To date we’ve raised £1,270 for Cancer Research.
We set off on the 28th May 2013 from Tower bridge and rode the 75 miles down to Newhaven, stopping in Brighton for some dinner. The weather was horrendous! Torrential downpour most of the way, some roads were partially flooded, we got absolutely soaked. A puncture each and a stop in a country pub for coffee were the only real pauses in progress. In truth we didn’t pick the best route and ended up navigating woodland on a couple of occasions - ‘cycle routes’ weren’t quite what we assumed!
We arrived in Newhaven around 7 p.m. – the overnight ferry was scheduled to leave at midnight. After killing time in a decent local we checked in to our cabin for a couple of hours kip. The journey to Dieppe takes four hours so we arrived in France 5 a.m. local time. We were off the ferry and back on the bikes for the ‘final’ 135 miles at 5:30. The first 35 ish miles were a cycle path following an old railway line. Perfectly smooth, flat, wonderful. It was cold, but at least it wasn’t raining! The rest of the route was sunny rolling countryside – pretty, but not perfect for a single speed bike! We made a couple of stops throughout the day and arrived at the Eiffel Tower 6 p.m.
I think we’d both honestly say it’s hardest thing we’ve ever done, the last 20 miles were particularly difficult. Both bikes were faultless. I’ve owned my Spa for two and a half years and am very fond of it. I know these bikes aren’t designed for trips this long but I was impressed how an average bloke can keep a decent pace on a single speed city commuter. I can only thank the quality of the design and engineering for that! The only modifications I have made over time is a 48 tooth sprocket to up cruising speed and some touring SPD pedals. (Technically have different tyres and and rear wheel rim, but for no other reason other than aesthetics.) I’m currently riding a different saddle whilst the original is being re-railed with Brooks – only thanks to a couple of years of my fat arse and poor road surfaces!
Louis & Andy