Friday 11 August 2017

Getting VERY VERY close

As Hank from Galgos del Sol pointed out very early on, the ride from Chester to San Javier is probably only about 4cm....

Well day 13's effort now puts us about 5mm from our final destination!! To say the team will be relieved to reach the other end, is an under-statement! This road trip has had every emotion, amazing terrain, surprises, a bit of illness, and heaps of laughs have hallmarked this amazing adventure.

Day 13 took the boys (with AP back in the saddle after his bug), from Utiel to Yecla. It also brought the ride into the Murcia region of Spain, and leaves one final day of pedalling to bring this amazing adventure to it's physical conclusion.

Obviously the work continues. Sighthounds' lives still need changing. And political and social opinion still needs to change, so the welfare of working hounds, down here in Spain, and back home in Blighty improve. And every penny you can donate will contribute to those efforts, even after the saddle sores and worn muscles of Toby and Andy have healed.

You probably already know, but the links to both amazing organisations are at the top of the page on the right. Please, if you can afford to, contribute to the hard work that needs to continue long after day 14.

Thankyou. Your support has been essential, and appreciated.

Finally, the plans for tomorrow, currently top secret, will be revealed on the Facebook page (you don't need a facebook account to view it!! Click here! ) as the day unfolds. What we can say, is we'll hopefully live stream the boys' arrival at the Velodrome - it could be any time between 6pm and 8pm UK time (7-9pm, Spain time).  We'll be also putting photos from the arrival event on the ride's Instagram page - click that link and search "uk2spain"  - so if you've been following us for the last two weeks, hopefully you won't feel like you are missing out on the fun!!

(AP, 11/08 @7pm)

Thursday 10 August 2017

"Will we ever find her alive?" asks eminent Scientist Professor Sir Michael Schmeer

Today was a much shorter ride for Toby.

The 76 miles features one prolonged climb midway through, which he polished off to defy his tired legs. 

The arid scenery in Eastern Spain, and blue warm skies should have

been another reason for Toby to struggle. but what breeze there was stayed at his shoulder.

And after 3 days laid low with a stomach bug, old Sicknote Andy finally got his bike legs back on, and joined Toby for the day's final afternoon stage into Utiel, a commuter town near the Spanish City of Valencia.

and the support crew cheerily waved Andy off, safe in the knowledge that peace and normality can return to the service car for the remaining two days of the trip!!


(AP @5pm, 10/08)

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Un rumor en la selva

Firstly, apologies for the lack of an update yesterday.

The team headed off from Sangüesa this morning (sadly Toby was left to pedal alone again, due to Andy’s illness), which lies close to the River Aragon and is only 45 km from Pamplona (of bull running notoriety).

Another hot day and another 10-and-a-half hours’ ride to Calatayud, situated in the midst of the Sistema Iberico mountain range, and just southwest of Zaragoza. 

After the demise of General Franco, Calatayud was the first Spanish city to hold a general election, on 15 June 1977.

MP 08/08@21:00 

Sunday 6 August 2017

The heat is on...

Day 8 of the adventure and riding through the very southern part of La Belle France. First stop was Roquefort, where the cheese is made from Ewes’ milk. EU law stipulates that cheese can only be labelled Roquefort if it is aged in the local Combalou caves. That stinks...

Lunch was served in St. Sever, or should I say Lilliput? 

Tonight’s destination is Orthez, where in 1814 the Duke of Wellington defeated Marshal Soult during the Napoleonic wars. 

Tomorrow the fun really begins when the team head over the Pyrenees (sore knees too, I imagine).

MP 06/08 @22:00

Saturday 5 August 2017

In the words of Bon Jovi....

Whoa-oh! we're half way there...

Great news. At the end of day seven. One puncture. A couple of chain slips, but that's about all to report from the pedalling side of things!

Some highlights so far. The amazing support of well-wishers in Chester, Ross-on-Wye, and Bath (and so many hounds hanging out to see us all, too! Also, the amazing response on Facebook to the daily posts! It really does feel like you are right there with us!

So, to summarise, 718 miles. 54 hours. 32,000 feet climbed. Just need to do it all again, starting tomorrow!!

Thanks everybody. Couldn't do it without you!!

(AP, 05/08 @10pm)

Friday 4 August 2017

Now we are in Champagne region, we are not popping any corks just yet....


630 / 1500.

That's where we are, folks!

Chadenac is a beautiful grape growing valley region to the north of Bordeaux. We've been kindly hosted by family friends Paul and Carolyn. Paul, an old School friend of Toby's, even chased around the country lanes to help Toby and Andy find the place and guide them home. Every help was appreciated, particularly after another 107 miles in the bank.

Less hilly than previous days, the boys were delighted with a mostly rolling landscapes that today's ride brought. They even forgave the support crew's lapsed concentration - firstly unable to get a phone connection to map their route to the original meet point, they eventually suggested somewhere else 10 miles down the road, then let the boys beat them to the rendezvous point!! Sloppy, people! UP YOUR GAME!!

Summary of today's pedalling:

7hrs 29 minutes to cover the 106.9 miles. 4,530ft of climbing.

And finally, a note from Karen. Being on the road is making it difficult to write thank yous to all the very kind people who are donating to the great causes. She is trying her best to keep on top of acknowledging everybody's generosity, but if she takes a little while to respond, please know that we are all very grateful for every penny given. (and if you are still waiting to donate, you'll find the links at the top of this blog post.

(AP, 04/08 @ 10pm)

Thursday 3 August 2017

Ticket to ride

Today was a better day. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the rigours of yesterday’s ride, the team set off a bit later than planned, especially when Andy (or rather, his bike) developed a puncture. After a comfortable evening at Vitre, the boys set off to Bressuire (which comes from the words Berg – hill, and Durum – fortress).

Along the way, the team had a pitstop at Champtocé-sur-Loire, which is situated on the North Bank of the Loire, and southwest of the city of Angers (itself 190 miles southwest of Paris). Before the French revolution, Angers was the capital city of the province of Anjou. If you know your Kings and Queens, you will know that the Angevins gave our fair country King Henry II.

After a most enjoyable picnic of bread and cheese (mais oui – when in France...) in the sunshine, the team carried on their merry way to Bressuire. En route, Karen and Dave encountered a toll road with no instructions on how to pay. However, with the aid of Stuart Bines and some flamboyant Gallic gesturing, a ticket was dispensed and the journey continued. Tonight’s kind hosts are Stuart and his wife Claire.

Miles completed: 510 (ish)
Miles to go: 1000 

MP 03/08 @ 21:30