The countdown is well and truly on for our bike ride for the Legion. Here is a quick rundown of the schedule for those that are interested…
Day 1 – We start on the Franco Swiss border at Pfetterhouse and cycle north(ish) through Seppois, Largitzen, Hirtzbach, Carspach, Altkirch, Aspach, St. Bernard, Balschwiller, Aspacht before arriving in the town of Thann at the foot of the Vosges Mountains. We plan to stay at Thann overnight and tackle the hills fresh on day two..
Day 2 – This is going to be a killer. From Thann we transend the Vosges going through Willer, St Amarin, Ranspach, Fellering, Oderen, Kruth, Wildenstein, Barmont, Belles-Huttes, Collet Jardin, Le Valtin, Habeaurupt, Plainfaing, Fraize, Vencheres, St Leonard before we arrive at the aptly named St Die after 70 plus horrid miles…where will probably feel like dying.
Day 3 – With the worst of the hills behind us we head off to La Pecherie, La Voivre, Etival-Clairfontaine, Raon-l’Etape, Neufmaisons, Pexonne, Fennevillier, Badonvillier, Montreaux, Ninhigny, Barbas, Blamont, Repaix, Igney, Avrincourt, Moussey, Maizieres, Bourdonnay, Lezey and finally Chateau-Salins were will will stop for a well earned overnight rest.
Day 4 sees us head upto Verdun, via Montauville, Limey, Flirey, Beaumont, Rambucourt, Apremont, St Mihiel, Rouvrois, Lacroix, Troyon, Ambly, Genicourt, Dreue, Haudainville and then Verdun.
Day 5 – Rest Day. We will take a day out at Verdun and do a spot of sight seeing around the Verdun battlefield.
Day 6 – Onward we go upto Fleury, Douaumont, Ossuaire, Charny, Marre, Chattancourt, Esnes, Avocourt, Vauquois, Varennes, Montblainville, Apremont, Charleyaux, Conde, Cernay, Rouvroy-Ripint, Fontain, Gratreuil, Manre, Aure, Sommepy-Tahure, Ste Marie, St Souplet, St Martin-l’Heureux, St Hilaire-le-Petit, Betheniville, Pontfaverger, Epoye, Lavannes, Pomacie, Fresnes-Les-Reims and Bourgogne before dropping a few miles south for our overnigh stay on the outskirts of Reims. There are a lot of town/villages in this list, it looks like it could be a long day!!
Day 7 – We head north out of Reims to Coivre and on to Villers-Franquex, Hermonville, Bouvancourt, Ventelay, Roucy, Pomavert, Craonnelle, Mon le Pantheon, Chavignon, Pinon, Anizy, Wissignicourt, Premontre, Septvaux, St Gobain, Deuillet, Andelain, Charmes, Danizy, Achery, Mayot, Brissay-Cholgny, Brissay-Hamegicourt, Sery-les Mezieres, Mezieres-sur-Oise, Itancourt, Neuville St Amand before finally arriving at St Quentin – a landmark place in our tour as it marks the start of the British sector on the Western Front…
Day 8 Sees us explore more familiar names to us British as we cycle up towards the Somme battlefields. Fayet, Fresnoy-le-Petit, Pontru, Verguie, Jeancourt, Montingny, Hervilly, Roisel, Marquaix, Tincourt, Peronne, Clery-sur-Somme, Maricourt, Carnoy, Ficourt, Bercorde before ending up at Albert where we stop.
Day9- Rest day on the Somme. We will be taking a car and taking in all the sights of the Somme battlefield. I think this is going to be a cracking day.
Day 10 – From Albert we had north(ish) to Aveluy, Authuille, Thiepval, Hamel, Beaumont, Serre, Puisieux, Bucquoy, Ayette, Boiry St Martin, Arras, Bailleu sur Berthoult, Farbus, Vimy, Avion, and Lens were we are scheduled for an overnight stay.
Day 11 is a landmark day in our ride as it is the day we say Goodbye to France and Hello to Belgium. From Lens we move on to Benifontaine, Haisnes, La Basee, Lorgies, Neuve-Chappelle, Fauquissart, Retillon, Fleurbaix, Armentieres, Le Bizet (French Border) Ploegsteert, Mesen, Wijtshcate, St Elooi and finally to Ypres.
Day 12 (Rememberance Day) We start the day with a trip to the Menin Gate just outside Ypres where we will take part in the Remembrance Day sevice and then off we go to Potizje, Frizenberg, Zonnebeke, Paschendaele, St Juliaan, Poelkapelle, Madonna, Hothulst, Kierken, Diksmuide, Ijertoren, Stuivekenkerke, Schoorbakke, Ramsapelle, Belge, Nieuwpoort, Lombardsijde and Westende…where we have one or 5 beers before getting the ferry back home the next day…
We have raised ov£1200 so far but more is needed, please help any way you can by visiting www.justgiving.com/cyclingtheline