I promise to post more later but it, late it’s been a long & emotional day and I’m having a blast. Have met & cycled with some fabulous people, some of whom are famous but the most important ones are the wounded guys & I’ve cycled with British, American & Canadian wounded serving & ex serving personnel. I’ve also cycled with some lovely people including Michael Jardine who is on a Barclays “Boris” bike from London & Hugh van Cutsem on a folding Brompton bike, various Tandems and 4 guys on a Quad (of the pedalling kind not the motorised sort ) bike. Google “Team Quad” until I sort out the link! Ive apologised to Michael on Twitter as having met Team Quad he’s clearly not the most lunatic rider among 300 but I’m not about to state as he suggested that he is sane, he’s still ring nearly 400 miles on a very heavy bike with 3 gears. I’ve been photographed eating lunch by Arthur Edwards of The Sun and shed tears at memorial sites to our fallen forefathers. I’ve also ridden all day with 2 really nice guys Simon & Kirk. We stopped & took photos of a number of military cemeteries and the contrast between how the German’s, French & British cemeteries are laid out is quite interesting and whatever the rights & wrongs of the war their young men in the German Cemetery didn’t do anything to deserve burial in mass graves in quite a stark cemetery while the British cemeteries are so beautifully constructed & tended.
I mentioned it was an emotional day and it was particularly so when Father Roger Dawson our ” pedalling padre” asked us to find our surname among the 72000 names engraved on the Memorial at Thiepval
Which in my opinion should be a compulsory place to visit for school trips!
I found several Whitehorn’s among the names of those who have no known grave and did as Padre asked and thought of that person for a few minutes as it’s likely no one has thought of them for years.
A visit to the preserved trenches at Beaumont Hamel should also be a compulsory visit to learn how 5000 men died in 2 hours in an area not much bigger than 2 football pitches long and 2 wide.
Much much more to come but I have to be up in 6 hours to cycle another 75 or so miles including a visit to Agincourt.
Thanks for reading & don’t forget you can support by coming to London on Sunday to cheer us home, and/or you could text 70070 £2 to 70070 or visit http://www.bmycharity.com/SimonWParistoLondonpedal or simply do what Mandy & Pete did and drop a donation off at home. Thank you M& P