In October 2015 Martin cycled 1,000 miles in 10 days, solo and unsupported, from Spain to Penshurst, Kent.
Helping to raise GON's profile, funds and trigger £30,000 for charity
Raised:£45,085 so far - and counting …
Just go to our GoFundMe page. Every little helps!
Home at last! Thank you to all those who made it to Penshurst today and to Michael Knowles who fired the starting gun 18 months ago & was there to say some very generous words.
Time to say "Goodbye". And so I do. Thank you - and goodbye.
Mission completed. Thank you for all your support, all your kind words and all your donations.
Thousand miles topped - somewhere near Gatwick Airport, as it happens! - all I have to do now is roll down the hill, into the arms of my village.
No words needed.
You do the math!
Nearly home. I know I'm nearly home because I can hear an aeroplane. Here's a view of the front end of the bike - the vital sat-nav plus the GoPro camera.
My little black bag …
55.17 miles remaining
I nearly turned around and went back to my Huguenot roots. Didn't. Survived, brutalised and safe in cosy Chichester for the night. Phew.
… to the road and lorry and car mayhem that is Portsmouth on a Friday night.
I was really not prepared for the mental shock of moving from these peaceful days on the Loire and in Brittany …
It's my last night. 945 in the can. YES!
Spain, France. Tick.
Relatively well prepared logistically for this little journey from Spain, but not the shock of being expunged into the Friday night mayhem of this naval City.
Au revoir la belle France. The ride to St Malo started at 05.40 this morning but so worth it. Seeyalater!
What you can see behind me is France. I had to come very hard and very fast for 3½ hours. I got here - just. And now it's time for breakfast …
This may look like a dreary queue of cars to a cross-channel ferry to you. After a 47 mile blast early this morning to get here in time I think it's absolute Heaven!
123.02 miles remaining
Last night in France for a while. Day 8 took its time.
Day 8 look. With almost pro illumination! That's better …
Day 8 is done. Phew. That was a tough one. Lots of hills. Bit of rain. Plenty of mud. But I'm here now. Nice lighting tonight.
Penshurst in less than 48 hours. Hooray.
10 miles to go. Day 8. I've loved coming up through W France. There's only about 3 hotels, but there's a coiffeur in every neat little village. About says it all.
Thanks, CAA. For the last few nights, I've had to sleep on my back with 2 pillows under my knees. Knackered, as you asked. Tough day.
I don't care what happens now, I know I can make it home and that is because of Will's will to make it doable. We're all only as good as our teachers …
In praise of William Holme - who did all he could to bring this ageing body to a place where it has now completed 800 miles in 7 and a bit days.
Day 8. On we go. Thanks for all your fabulous texts & messages. Start to bear right today towards St Malo. Might actually miss all this next week. Or maybe not.
226.66 miles remaining
Day 7. Pontivy, 80 miles from St-Malo, as the car flies. May take me a little longer tomorrow … 54,443 calories burnt from the start of this epic. Dinner time.
Today's been a bit of a slog to be frank, took it 1 hour at a time, then wolfed Mars Bars. First painkillers of this little adventure consumed, too. Onwards
Doing a job, yes … but it also reminds me of "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" … I think I ate 7,675 calories in chocolate today. No harm done!
This is how it looks when you step off the bike after the 7th consecutive day over 100. Not fussed about how decrepit you see me. This is me. Doing a job.
Acorns on the track - like a mix of ball bearings and Maltesers, depending on their age. And when you get up really close, look, there's writing on them …
Île aux Pies? Sounds like what I need. Is it lunchtime again already?
One or two of you have mentioned I look a bit tired. So here's one of me looking fresh as a daisy, surprisingly chubby-chops considering …
Good morning from me & my friends on a cold, fresh, French, Autumn morning. When this battle is won, I will return and enjoy it all - in slow motion!
336.96 miles remaining
Maybe last night my glass was half empty. Like my energy levels. Now it's half full. We've prised a door open and made the aviation industry start to listen.
Day 6. This is how it pans out on my app through the day. I'm following the Velodessey Route hence the squiggles.
Day 6. 7pm. Just booked the hotel for tonight - sounds very nice. Auberge de la Forêt. Just have an hour of cruising down this canal to top the 100 tonight.
We have forced the debate, now we have to draw the right conclusions. I'll keep pedalling - but not over that there. I'm not completely nuts!
A very significant moment…
15 months, thousands of your voices and we just heard this from the Minister, Robert Goodwill.
"There is a debate to be had as to whether we should fly down these accurate navigation lanes and limit the number of people affected or whether we should in effect go back to the situation we had in the past where (because aircraft could not navigate so accurately) we had a dispersed level of flying out of the airports concerned and therefore the noise was spread around."
Robert Goodwill, Adjournment Debate, Mitigation of Noise Around Heathrow 19/10/2015
What to do with your derelict wharf side buildings. This is a 'cultural installation' in Nantes dockyards. And why not. See the movie on my Facebook page
Chef Chef? Is it time for lunch already?
En attendant Noël. Waiting for Christmas. Banks de la Loire. Day 6.
443.78 miles remaining
Arrived in Pornic. At last! What a stunningly beautiful place, with an enclosed harbour.
Long day. But newsletter out - thanks to the dual miracles of the Internet and the mobile phone network. Extraordinary! From a bicycle!! Funds rolling in.
8½ hours in the saddle, 112 miles. Everyone in the aviation industry needs to know, we're not going to give up this fight easily, to get our skies back. OK?
And if you're going to be an airport, be a good neighbour. Pleased to see this letter in the Indie today.
It's simple really. If you're going to be a seagull, live somewhere near a farm by the sea. Worms for breakfast, fish for tea.
Moules, moules, moules for hundreds of moules …
Rest assured that plenty is still going on: Multi-airport campaign groups meeting with senior DfT people today, chaired by a GON'er. Thanks CL!
2 hours actual ride time, 5 min break, taking snap on left when SCUBA man appears out of nowhere over the cliff with mini-boat on his back. "Bonjour!"
Quiet route on half way day.
556.16 miles remaining
104 miles today, that's 444 over the 4.3 days. So, very happy. Feeling very chipper tonight! Great day in the saddle. Day 4 dans la sac.
Wibbly-wobbly route today, but slowly crawling up the W. coast of France. Everywhere "Fermé" for 100's of miles, so always a little unsure of finding a bed.
I was lucky tonight, finding the lovely "Atlantique" hotel in La Tranche-sur-Mer. Marvellous. Time for an enormous meal. Again.
Time to slow down and take it all in. Lot of time to think on a bike. Tum-te-tum …
Sun on my face. River at my side. Following wind. 80 miles done. Good day.
4pm. Day 4. Tea-time. Final session of 4 to go. Just turning west with a following wind and sun on my face. Sublime.
I'm not sure which is easier; cycling 100 miles a day for what seems like forever or ensuring a change in government policy. I don't intend to give up on either.
Even I can't believe how much I'm eating to keep up with 7,000 calorie burn per day. Now a giant hamburger is before me at La Rochelle.
If it wasn't for Gatwick and their behaviour I wouldn't have rumbled through La Rochelle. Merci! What a beautiful place.
Good morning! Just nipped over the 100 yesterday. Your texts, emails & social media comments keep me going. Thanks, even if I can't reply that swiftly.
660.16 miles remaining
Couldn't make it to Fortress Rochefort - too many motorways. Fortunate to find a bed here in Subrise.
Phew! Tired tonight …
Life after my wonderful lunch … Look, no ill-effects!
Life before my wonderful lunch … nearly 51 miles.
Very poor signal, hence radio silence all day today. In a little village called Subrise near Rochefort. Found a room - they were having a blues night!
Promise not to be a foodie poster but how absolutely perfect does this look? Maybe it's the atmosphere. Or relief that I have all pm in the sun to do 50 miles.
Off the ferry now, time for lunch - & here it is! Just a little café / restaurant right by the ferry terminal. No meal will ever taste as good as this.
3½ hours on the bike, 50 miles done. Just made the ferry with 5 minutes to spare. Phew! Very, very happy to be on this boat across the Gironde estuary.
Good morning! Sunrise, day 3 and I'm well on the road through the Médoc, North of Bordeaux. Great wine country.
Quiet isn't it?
761.38 miles remaining
Day 2 comes to a close. 9 o'clock. 109 miles done. Weary but content, given the 2 hour chain issue. Found the hotel - time for dinner!
Life after wonderful Jackie …
Life before wonderful Jackie …
You know you've been on the bike too long when the sat nav goes to night-time mode! Slightly because I went to the wrong Lacanau - Village not Océan.
18.30 on Day 2, about another 24k to go and then I'm done, after this slightly eventful day! Thank you for all your messages. So many, I can't keep up!
So, after that little intermission with the wonderful Jacky and the broken chain, I need to go flat out for 4 hours to make up the 100 today. Va va vroom!
I just said goodbye to Jacky - what an amazing man! It was quite an emotional moment. I've lost 2 hours and gained so much. Absolutely fantastic help.
Merci Jacky (in the red cap). Le meilleur Samaritan.
Love outboard motor yards and their people. Love the French!
The problem is that there was too much grease on the chain and it picked up all the wood in that forest - now I have plenty of people helping me!
The problem. And the solution. Jacky's machine couldn't mend it, so he brought me to 'le mechanique' - this amazing little mechanic's shop.
So my chain broke as I was going through a forest in the middle of nowhere. Jacky, the only man I'd seen all morning, just happened to be jogging past.
Someone living on there, pottering about. Bliss …
Love French cycle paths.
Cars can't get me here.
Day 2. Ocean Drive!
Breakfast done, and time to go. North!
871.31 miles remaining
Day 1 comes to an end. Phew. But a lovely day on the bike.
7,300 calories burnt. Steak frites time!
Day 1 has finished. 900 miles to go. Really perfect day for riding and it can only be downhill from now on. That's not such a bad thing, actually!
Not Paris, Texas. But not dissimilar. Except for the Ocean on the horizon. Definitely not 'ouvert' whatever the boards say.
Middle of nowhere, in the middle of the forest, I come across this camp-site made of twigs and moss. Free to use - how wonderful is that? Loving France.
Smooth, empty, traffic free cycle paths for mile after mile after mile up the Atlantic Coast. Perfect.
I'm in a very good place, just N. of Biarritz now. Sun is out, no rain, no wind. Mile after mile of perfect pathway. I couldn't be happier!
Surfers & shadows, Biarritz. Time for a coffee, I think. Note the subtle shadow-play of photographer and his mount!
My sturdy horse has several uses! (Other items discretely hidden …)
Today's plan. What's not to like?
(In case you were wondering, 100% of the costs for this little trip are being met privately)
972.06 miles remaining
Only 972 miles left to go!
Really just bedding in with the bike and all the bits today. The real work starts tomorrow …
This might take 10 weeks not 10 days. Keep stopping to take pics. Sense this is going to be a very interesting trip, following the Ocean for days.
Bike: dix points. Velodessey downloaded route: nil. More a virtual felt tip, guiding general direction. The Atlantic does the same job rather more grandly.
First glimpse of the Atlantic. Hendaye, where some rather special people had their Honeymoon (on bicycles) back in the 50's
The Journey starts...now! 4.21pm Spanish time, 14th October 2015.
Adios, amigos. A-w-a-y!
A great start. My New Best Friend Ivaulo, the Cabbie who drew the short straw and big box at Bilbao airport, just smiled and got it into that cab somehow!
If I succeed it will be thanks to my trusty steed and to Will Holme, my personal trainer. Also those fabulous people in Velo House Twells.
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