London to Monaco

Aug 24

#13:
Frejus to MONACO!

Published at 18:20
Dispatch created from web
Day 12

Total miles covered today: 63

Total miles covered: 917

Acutal miles covered including misdirection: Probably more like 1000...

L2M: Lads 2 Men

Our altering of hotel proved to be a wise move and we reclined in the sweet cool air conditioned luxury of an Etap hotel, nestled in the foothills of the alps. The hotel manager welcomed us with news that should we see fit to shut our doors with any hint of manliness then we would enjoy the hotels plushly carpeted hallways for the night. Windell seemed fine with this idea, as he had lost the use of his right hand.

We awoke to the sound of a ferral bird singing high in the treetops and the sight of an abandoned car splayed across several spaces of the carpark. Celebrity chef cooked up a fitting storm for the last day of a sloppy Giuseppe omelette. He had proved his credentials and we paid him duly in compliments and airtime on the local radio.

Upon leaving Frejus we were greeted by an incredible coast road, hewn from the rocks bordering the placid mediterranean. It's punishing hills adorned with ancient olympic athletes donned only with cycling bibs were the best cycling we'd had all trip. Andy received an early puncture however affecting his confidence in the downhill domination. After a particularly gruelling climbing we were ushered into the shade for ice creams and coffee. Joining us for this refreshment was the French Riviera's answer to Dog the Bounty Hunter. He was sporting the finest MC Hammer pants, green paisley waistcoat and shark tooth necklace with obligatory smack addict harlot in tow. Whilst he supped his double espresso (two sugars) we posed for photos with the effervescent kiosk owner Maxime Faggoty.

On the subsequent hill Andy's back wheel catastrophically misformed and became devoid of it's contents into the atmosphere. He broke hard, rear wheel skewing the breadth of the carriageway. Little did he know that milliseconds in his slipstream Tom was awaiting a tactical overtaking move. He slammed awkwardly into the Andy's back wheel and catapulted across the road like a flat stone across still water. Speeding towards him were a brace of scooters which narrowly missed the carnage that had been presented to them in a split second. All parties were fine, however.

Following a wheel change to avoid further dangers to our lives we continued down into Cannes leaving behind us cycling gold dust. Dodging fervent traffic along the promenade, we encountered many a friendly cyclist none more so than an Italian with no apparent regard for traffic rules. His U turn in fully flowing traffic was an especially magnificent of cycling prowess. He was like an eagle soaring through the highest peaks of adversity. His disbelief in our challenge only compounded our pride and drive to succeed. We left him at the next red light, which he passed through to a cacophony of French horns.

The next series of events will go down in L2M history. Significantly the loudest and most virulent puncture as experienced by Dave. The subsequent cry of 'Guys I've got a puncture' was met with knowing eyes. The malfunction of two out of two pumps led to a drive by pit stop, the offending article was later found to have penetrated the tyre and both sides of the inner tube. We suspected it was a discarded machete, or other such sharp item.

We hit the maze that was Antibes shortly later losing valuable time navigating the endless one way streets. We were rewarded with a baguette on the beach upon our exit.

A cycle path cut through the heart of Nice on our final approach. We enjoyed throwing caution to the wind and smashing the 10kph limit showing little to no regard for pedestrians who had strayed onto the clearly marked oasis. Red lights? What red lights. Noone could stop us now. Not even the small child that Chris chided with the tyres of his fiery queen of speed, Rita.

Bay's looking very much like Monaco then began to appear as mirages as the heat impressed upon our fragile mental state, and yet the end just would not come. Five minutes later we powered through our desination, back into France. Apparently Monaco's not very well signposted!

We thought we should probably turn back and passed through tunnels lined with diamonte floors which led us into Monte Carlo itself. We realised that we were slightly underdressed as we mingled with exotic motors and affluently shodden locals. Our grubby faces and sweat laden lycra made it hard to swagger our way to the casino steps. We settled for just outside and the obligatory photo shoot before being rushed on by the police. And that was it, we had completed the challenge set, to cycle London to Monaco. We were gods amoungst men. The people of Monaco may have money, but we had our heads held high.

Our achievement hasn't quite sunken in, but we'd just like to say a massive thankyou to all those who made it possible. Massive thanks to our support team: Nigel Livesey, John Barrass and Louise Barrass. Thanks to our bikes: Suzi, Rita, Chelsea, Maxime Faggoty and Sheila.

And thankyou to all of you who have supported us along the way, you've made it worthwhile!

Until next year,

L2M
  • Name: Frejus to MONACO!
  • Elevation: ..... m
  • Latitude: 43° 4423North
  • Longitude: 7° 2538East

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