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logbook Update 1

Update 1 - Day 1 to 5, London to Aachen (Germany)

It all started last September with a passing comment: "Why don't we cycle to the Himalaya's for charity?" The decision was made giving us ten months to plan, prepare and train. But like all great plans, something always goes wrong. Three days to go everything was in place, apart from one key element - the bikes were not ready! Instead of three gleaming expedition bikes, we had a floor covered with components, frames, wheels and bolts. We jumped into action and after a lot of hard work and a couple of sleepless nights we were all ready for the off.

We left Big Ben basking in early morning sunshine on Saturday 28th July at 8:30am after the usual photographs and goodbyes. We were accompanied by two friends, Helen and Jamie, as we made our way down over the North Downs and onto Tunbridge Wells to attend our friend Alex's wedding. Our first day didn't bode well. Firstly, Andy's front pannier rack buckled after receiving a blow and a couple of Matt's pannier clips fell off for no reason at all!


From there it was down to Dover via Canterbury (hangovers included) and Sustrans Route 16. Once off the Seacat at Oostende we gradually progressed through Belgium, with overnight camping stops at Brugge and Mechelen. We are all impressed with the Belgium way of life. Everyone cycles and all the roads have separate cycle paths. Cyclists even have priority over cars at roundabouts! Click here to see us cycling along the Albert Kanal in Belgium.

After briefly cycling through Holland for about two hours passing through Maastricht we are now resting in Aachen (Germany) after five continous days of HOT and THIRSTY cycling, with temperatures exceeding 30°C. We found the weight of the luggage and our lack of fitness heavy going to start, but climbing hills has become easier and more comfortable. By the time we get to the Turkish hills we will be flying up them!

Total distance to Aachen: 440km
Matt's biscuit count: 121! Click here to see where they all go!