Tour de McFrance

On Wednesday morning we arrived in Dover bright and early to catch our ferry to France. It was grey and drizzly, and we had an hour to kill, so we went to look for a café with internet access to check our emails for the first time since we left home. The only place with free Wifi was McDonalds, so we headed there. Unfortunately this has set the theme for the last week, as we have spent far more time at McDonalds than in the previous 30 years combined. We even get excited now when we see the golden arches…

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Die ersten Tage

Am Sonntag morgen haben wir zum letzten Mal die Tür zu unserer Wohnung in London abgeschlossen. Wir beluden die Fahrräder und verabschiedeten uns von unseren Nachbarn, Martino und Emma. Sie gaben uns noch ein paar Muffins und winkten, als wir vorsichtig um die erste Ecke fuhren. Die Fahrräder waren etwas schwerer als während unserer Testfahrten. Auf flacher Straße oder bergab fühlten sie sich gut an, aber bergauf fuhren wir im Schneckentempo. Wir radelten aus Ealing heraus und durch Notting Hill und Hyde Park. Als wir am Buckingham Palast ankamen, fand gerade der Wachwechsel „Changing of…

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Early Days

Sunday morning we finally closed the door to our flat for the last time. We loaded up the bikes and said goodbye to our neighbours, Martino and Emma. They even made us some muffins and waved us off as we wobbled around the first corner. || The bikes were slightly heavier than during our test rides. They felt fine on flats and downhill, but uphill we really went at snails pace. We cycled out of Ealing and through Notting Hill and Hyde Park. Arriving at Buckingham Palace, the Changing of the Guards was…

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Less is more

We thought it would never end. Endless To Do lists, To Do list to manage our To Do lists, but finally we have parted with our “worldly possessions”, 12 boxes shipped backed to Oz, destined for the folks garage (cheers mum & dad). || The good news is we won’t have trouble in the morning deciding what to wear. Our wardrobe is stripped down to its bare essentials: 1 pair of trousers, 1 shirt, 1 pair of multipurpose shoes (cycling, evening wear, disco). It is in many ways rather liberating. ”The wonderful things in life are…

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A Night of Adventure

On Monday night we went to “Night of Adventure”, a charity event held in the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square, London. This was a very inspiring evening with 15 professional adventurers, each presenting 20 picture slides about their adventures.|| The speakers ranged from a 24 year old girl rowing across the Indian Ocean, to a guy skateboarding across Australia and a cave explorer mapping unexplored caves in Spain. There was also a guy living in a self-built tree house in England for 6 months, as well as a team of women from tropical…

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Eine Nacht der Abenteuer

Montag abend waren wir bei “Night of Adventure” im Vue Cinema in Leicester Square in London. Es war ein sehr inspirierender Abend mit 15 professionellen Abenteurern, die jeweils eine kurze Präsentation über ihre Abenteuer gaben. Die Sprecher rangierten von einer 24-jährigen, die über den Indischen Ozean gerudert ist, über einen Mann, der quer durch Australien mit dem Skateboard fuhr, bis zu einem Höhlenforscher aus den Pyrenäen. Da war auch einer, der 6 Monate lang in einem selbstgebauten Baumhaus in England gewohnt hat, ein Team von Frauen aus tropischen Ländern, die auf Skiern zum Südpol gefahren sind, ein Mann, der…

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The 10-day countdown begins

It’s only 10 days now until we leave the flat that has been our home for the last 6 years, and venture into the unknown. Tomorrow is our last day at work, and then we can really focus on our move and our bike journey. || Most people we speak to assume that we have already packed and are ready to go, but unfortunately we haven’t actually started yet. We have been away most weekends in the last couple of months spending time with friends and family, and have generally been busy closing down our life in London.

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Fit für die Reise

Um fit für eine große Radtour zu werden, verbringt man normalerweise Zeit im Fitnessstudio und auf dem Fahrrad. Wie wir inzwischen herausgefunden haben, kann der Prozess aber auch Krankenhäuser, Magnetresonanztomographie (MRT), und Wirbelsäulenchirurgen involvieren. Ich (Frederike) habe inzwischen schon seit unserer Land’s End nach John O’Groats Radtour letzten Sommer immer wieder Rückenschmerzen. Das Problem dabei ist, dass die Schmerzen nur nach dem Radfahren auftauchen – kein gutes Zeichen wenn man unsere Pläne bedenkt. Mehrere Monate Ruhepause, gefolgt von Massagen und drei Monaten Physiotherapie halfen nicht, so dass ich letztendlich an einen Sportarzt überwiesen wurde. Als Chef-Mediziner des Britischen…

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Getting in shape

Getting in shape for a big overland bike ride normally involves gym sessions and spending time on the bike. As we found out, it can sometimes also involve MRI scans, hospital admissions and spinal surgeons. || I (Frederike) have been suffering from recurrent back pain ever since our Lands End to John O’Groats ride last summer. The problem being that the back pain only shows up after cycling – not a good sign considering our planned trip. Several months of rest, followed by massages and three months worth of physio sessions didn’t help, so…

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Goodies from SOS Children

Our vests from SOS Children have arrived, along with some bike stickers (pictured) and a sponsorship guide. The orange vests will certainly help us draw attention to the charity, as well as to ourselves, as we’ll be more visible in the traffic! || The kids on the stickers are so gorgeous. Their smiles will remind us of the good work SOS Children does while we’re on the road. We’ve also set up our charity page on Virgin Money Giving. This website allows people to sponsor us, and will process and pass donations on to…

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