Day 2 of the Rugby for Heroes Armistice 100 Bike Ride started with a ferry crossing from Dover to Calais when the team embarked on the next stage of the 300-mile cycle challenge – a gruelling 82 miles over the “not as flat as they were promised” landscape of the French countryside.
The sun smiled on the outbound journey and a tailwind gave the team an average speed of 19mph. Cloud cover in the afternoon was a welcome relief keeping temperatures down and providing optimal cycling conditions.
The first break of the day was in Therouanne and again in Houdain where energy was replenished and fluids topped up. The last stop of the day was at Vimy Ridge, where remembrance was afforded to the fallen as rugby remembers. The final ascent to Vimy was gruelling and emotional; bikes and their riders groaning in tandem! The stunning beauty of the final pièce de résistance – the Vimy Ridge Memorial – made the whole ordeal pale into insignificance when compared to the trials endured by our forefathers 100 years ago.
The final 12 mile descent down to Arras was a pleasant change from the hills earlier in the day, giving the team an opportunity to reflect on reaching the 197-mile mark in their epic 300-mile challenge
To find out more about the Armistice 100 Bike Ride and other events Rugby for Heroes has planned to mark the Armistice Centenary, visit www.rugbyforheroes.org.uk
If you would like to donate, please go to www.rugbyforheroes.org.uk/donate