Celebration of 6,000km for Camfed and another bike ride

I’m sort of back in normal life, but as that includes joining the VeloVixen team for the London Nocturne this Saturday dashing round Smithfields I guess my normal includes biek crazy.

Last donations are coming in for Camfed, which is great and my faithful steed Sisu has been turned over to the guys at Giant, Twickenham for major reconstruction works…

And the celebration/return party has been planned, if you are in London on Saturday 15th please join me in the Roebuck on Richmond Hill from 7pm.

Best,

Monica

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And finally

Today I polished off those last kilometres to bring it up to 6,000km.  So now its truly done. I feel elated, exhausted, cycled out but willing to go again.  I managed to grab a couple of photos..

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And the view at 6000…

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Sisu…all done in.

And ones from the ride with Mel on Sunday.

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We’ve now raised enough money for 268 girls to go to School. 

In London on Saturday 15th there’s a little welcome home party – more details on the Facebook page.  I look forward to seeing you there.

M

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I can see Lisbon!

On the ferry from Almada to Lisbon.  My journey nearly at an end.

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From Cais do Sodre in Lisbon I turn west along “the Marginal” to Cascais…
Thank you Mel for cycling this bit with me. 

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The best of times, the worst of times

I’m struggling to get my head around the distance I’ve covered and I thought picking up the best roads and worst moments might help.  I still have 80km to go.

Greece… Take the road from Polydrossos to Lamia…. You pass by the temple of Hercules and get a cracking downhill.  The Hotel Archontiko in Metsovo was wonderful.
Do not, under any circumstances, take the mountain road I took from Metsovo – a bad moment for sure.

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Albania…. Despite the horrendous condition of the road, going from Gjirokaster to Fier was a good day.
Not sure I have a bad moment.

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Montenegro… Take the road to Kotor from Podgorica… If you’re a cyclist or a photographer you’ll love it.  Worst moment…continual rain and blind descent in a cloud. 

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Croatia – its all beautiful, but the road to Makarska is good.  You can see if that picturesque toilet is still there, plus you get to be in two countries in one day.  So that ticks off Bosnia too.
Worst…the road without food to Sibenice.

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Slovenia – the guest house Pod Slavnikom in Podgorje – thanks again guys.

Italy – not a road, but an experience – Nabucco’s chorus of the slaves on my headphones.  Almost overwhelming it was so good.  Worst – the rain & then the rain and a fever.

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France – best and worst together – cycling around the river Var and the Grand Canyon of Verdon. 

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Monaco.. Nope still nothing good to say.

Spain… Although hitting 70 was pretty awesome, the best cycling for me was in Andalusia; stunning.  Worst – the wind without a doubt.

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Portugal.  Best cycling is around Monchique and to the coast from there.  Best day might well be today, my last day, but let’s see.

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In Comporta, waiting for Mel, so we can do the last bit together. 

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266 girls

We raised enough for 266 girls to go to school.  That’s 266 girls who will have a childhood rather than be working, a chance to learn and play rather than be married at 13.  If you wanted to make it 267 girls…
http://www.justgiving.com/monica-piercy1

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Thank you.

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All the single ladies

My first solo cyclist I spotted in Italy.  A woman out on her mountain bike.  The next was in France, hooray, a woman out touring, spending a week camping in France.  Then in Spain a road cyclist out training and in Portugal the same.  Also in Portugal I met with a German hiker, laden down with rucksack and tent, she was on a three month trip walking and camping.  Obviously these were not the only female cyclists or backpackers I saw and I’m not saying they were single, but they were travelling solo.  Why only six of us in 6,000 kilometres? 

My message girls…Get a bicycle.  Get two.  Get geeky with it and have one for commuting and one for the weekend.  The freedom is immense. You’ll see things and meet people you just don’t have the opportunity to in a car.  Great for toning the legs too.

But you don’t have to go out by yourself.   Join a club (where if you are single there’ll be lots of guys, just watch that they don’t spend more time on their legs than you & you might need to develop a conversation around the relative merits of campag and shimano).

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One final drama

Maybe I’m saying this with the rose tinted glasses of finishing tomorrow, but I’m eally loving cycling in Portugal – except for the wide variety of insects that want to eat me its pretty much ideal – rolling hills and some harder climbs, beautiful scenery and I sort of understand the language.
If you’re on a busy road then you have to get off it quick as the Portuguese are aggressive behind the wheel and you do have to deal with a prevailing headwind if you’re going my way, but apart from that, its all good.
So crashing off Sisu, luckily into sand, was a bit of an unexpected drama towards the end of my day.  I hadn’t seen the sand when I braked, hit the patch, skidded the back wheel out, fell on to my side, hip, knee and wrist taking the impact.  I’m fine, I’ll have a bruise to show for it tomorrow.  Sisu has lost the middle gear range, just doesn’t seem to click in.  But with one day left I can crawl along in the low gear if I have to.

I did manage to take some photos before my fall. 

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More from Milfontes above and yet another off road route below

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And here is a very big cycle lane…

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Tomorrow my journey ends… I’m feeling very strange about that.

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