Charity Bicycle Ride 24th-June-2008

Garry McGivern’s Bilbao to Bognor Regis charity bicycle ride, Tuesday 24th-June-2008 Rochefort to Olonne-sur-Mer. 99 Miles. What a friendly campsite last night. I met and bored several people. Rocking up anywhere on a fully loaded touring bike always makes an impact, gets me noticed, and usually leads to a conversation. Last night, even more so.

As I was pitching my tent, I started talking to a couple from Newbury, Dorothy and Colin, who were keen to know about my trip. Then after pitching my tent, I got talking to a Dutch guy called Joost. He was also on a bike (aren’t all Dutch people!?) and was cycling around France. He never had any route and was just going wherever the wind blew from what I could make out. Although he wasn’t as professional as me. He was only cycling fifty to sixty kilometres a day. Bloody lightweight! He was easy to talk to and seemed to like bread and jam, as that’s all he ate!

It was getting late by the time I’d gotten around to cooking supper, and it was starting to get dark. As I was cooking, Colin, who I’d met earlier, came over and invited me to eat my supper in their caravan. What a joy to eat at a table. It’s so much easier than sitting on the ground with a plate balanced on my lap. I sat talking to Colin and Dorothy until nearly midnight, who thought I was mad for doing so many miles in a day. But they wished me luck and gave me twenty-five euros for my charity.

Man kneeling
Cooking tonight’s supper

It’s been a good ride today, but nothing spectacular. And after last night’s busy campsite, I’m the only person on tonight’s campsite. There’s not another tent or caravan in sight. They only opened today, which was good for me. I didn’t fancy cycling too much further. Random fact; Olonne-Sur-Mer tonight’s town is twinned with Worthing, which is just down the road from me, or so the sign said as I rode into town!

Don’t forget the main reason behind my ride. I want to raise as much money for St Wilfred’s Hospice, which cared for my wife, Josie, before she died of breast cancer in December 2007, aged only 42. Even the smallest donation helps; it doesn’t matter how big or small it is. Every single penny goes towards helping St Wilfred’s continue their vital work.  Please donate by visiting my JustGiving page.

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