Team LonBar Blog - London to Barcelona 2014
Keep up to date with the teams progress on this amazing challenge! Team Lonbar, a group of seven intrepid cyclists from Uckfield led by TR Fastenings’ Quality Director Ian Carlton, is preparing to undertake the gruelling challenge of a 1,000 mile bike ride to raise £7,000 for Chestnut Tree House, the only hospice for children and young adults in Sussex.
To sponsor the team and for more information click here
Day 1: 13.07.14
Photos by Clare Wells
Team LonBar today begin their epic 1000 mile challenge from London to Barcelona in 10 days! It was an emotional farewell as they headed out, with family and friends in London to wave them off.
It was a long time getting out of the London traffic but, once they got onto the open road, all went well and they arrived in Portsmouth to board the overnight ferry.
Day 2: 14.07.14
Caen to Le Mans has been great, today we've cycled 116 miles, climbed about 1,100 meters with an average speed of 15.1mph, burning around 6,000 calories.
The team have been very well fed and watered by Phil and Mike today with a cracking lunch followed by a great dinner this evening.
Bastille Day today, so everywhere was extremely quiet, the roads are a dream, super smooth and pretty villages. Interesting detour through a busy bustling market! All crashing in to bed now, not having had much sleep on the ferry last night and preparing for a longer and hillier day tomorrow.
Day 3: 15.07.14
Total miles so far: 330 miles - a great day in the sunshine today, stunning scenery and villages all around, Ian was very happy because we cycled down the Le Mans straight.
The whole team are well, although suffering with a few aches, pains and sores but about to have a rest ready for tomorrow's ride. You can see our support team are having a very busy time - joking aside they have been superb at looking after us.
Thanks for all your donations and messages of support which have just been read to the team and really made us smile, thank you so much!
Day 4: 16.07.14
Phew, a slightly shorter day today but a bit more hilly and getting much hotter, it topped 38 degrees so although wonderful sunshine the heat really takes it out of you and zaps your energy levels. Lots of hydration taken on board to keep going and another great pit/lunch stop provided by Mike and Phil.
Lovely to be in the hotel a bit earlier today for some down time. All the team are well, no injuries or incidents which is really good news - just the expected aches, sores and niggles with such high mileage and long saddle time. Tomorrow could be the toughest day with approx 125 miles to cycle but hillier again, so another very early start.
The fundraising is phenomenal, over £4,300 so far - thank you everyone for donating and sending us messages of support, it really boosts the team and keeps us all going.
- Distance Today : Just over 80 miles cycled
- Average speed : 14mph
- Top Speed : 34.6mph
- Ride Time :5.57hrs
- Climbed : 900mtrs
- Total Miles cycled so far : 410miles
Day 5: 17.07.14
ALOT of chamois cream being administered daily!
Today we broke the ride in to three sections, first section 7.30am to 11.30am, 45 miles, pit stop with the support team of Mike and Phil, second section 12.00 - 3.30, 50 miles, third section 4.30 - 7.00pm, 25 miles. Liz suffered in the second section with the heat, just made it to the support van and needed the whole hour pit stop to recover enough to finish the last 25 miles. James had a puncture in the second section.
Phil and Mike have been superstars at looking after the team and they're definitely having some fun along the way. Phil's shorts fell down in the supermarket yesterday when he was carrying so much stuff which cracked Mike up - Mike managed to squeeze his bike in to the support van when we left home and has come and met us and ridden us in on most days which has been wonderful. We see his hi-viz top on the horizon..."Yay, it's Mike on a Bike, we must nearly be at the van!"
The team worked so well today supporting each other, Dave dishes out the Haribos, Ian dishes out the Jelly Beans, James & Harry dish out wit, humour and generally wind Dave up - so overall spirits are high, even with aches, pains and discomfort. Thanks so much for following our daily updates, glad you're all enjoying them! Team LonBar.
- Distance: 120.26 miles
- Average Speed: 13.2 mph
- Top Speed: 32.4 mph
- Ride time: 9:04
- Total miles so far: 531 miles
- Top Temperature : 42 degrees
- 1600 metres of climbing, but we're over halfway there!
- 55-60 ltrs of liquid taken on board
Day 6: 18.07.14
Another very tough day cycling just under 100 miles, but into a 15 mph head wind, hence it being a bit slower, but we got there. Broken in to three sections again, the first stint this morning from 7.45am took us along a beautiful tree lined canal path until we met Mike & Phil for our first pit stop, some baguette, ham and salad rolls, a much needed coffee and drink bottle refills.
The second leg was more canal paths then back on to the roads, with a great lunch stop for refuel with food and drink and Grant changing Millie's rear tyre which had developed a strange lump in it so needed replacing before it burst.
Our final stint back in to a strong head wind was along some busy main roads which isn't particularly nice so it was heads down and concentrating on the road and traffic, keeping in a straight line and making the most of each other's protection to get in safely to Toulouse.
To give you an idea of the daily routine, we're all up soon after six to be ready to leave by 7.30-8.00. The team have breakfast whilst Phil and Mike unload the van, get the bikes lined up, all the helmets and shoes out and do all our drink bottles. It's all the fiddly bits that take time, checking air pressures in the tyres, oiling, everyone applying sun cream etc. Once the team have set off Mike and Phil have their breakfast, hit the supermarket with all the requests from the team for extras, medication and any other supplies and also all the food for the pit stops and refuelling the van. They then motor ahead and meet us where we have agreed the night before, when we see them they've usually got the kettle on and the baguette rolls are ready, they've been superb - and most importantly smiling all the time and keeping us really well fed and watered.
Tomorrow is a shorter mileage day, but very hilly so it's going to be tough with a strong head wind. Lots of healing cream being applied tonight!
- Casteljaloux - Toulouse
- Distance: 96.84 miles
- Average Speed: 13 mph
- Top Speed: 43 mph
- Ride time: 7:27
- Total mileage so far: 628 miles
Day 7: 19.07.14
Last night's hotel was right by the airport, so not the most scenic of starts! A shorter day today which went brilliantly well, with a good average speed for us all - we've had a much needed afternoon rest at our hotel which happens to have a pool - just what the team needed to cool and chill down before tomorrow's ride which is going to include an awful lot of climbing.
Tan lines are coming along very nicely, today the weather has been overcast which was a welcome relief from the searing heat of a couple of days ago and allows us all to really get some good momentum going. Grant has all the map routes for each day loaded in to his Garmin so is generally up or near the front doing directions, with the other guys taking their turn to take the headwind with the team in a good solid line behind - it works really well, great teamwork. Millie tucks in behind Grant, where there is some shelter and she whizzes down the hills behind him. If any particularly tough hills are looming sometimes the boys give Millie a helping hand on the back to give her a boost if she needs it, but she's doing brilliantly on her own the majority of the time - as is the whole team, such a huge effort every day, day after day.
Three days to go, very hilly with more and more stunning scenery to come.
Day 8: 20.07.14
Fundraising total to date : £4,659.19 THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH
Today is a BIG post but today is a BIG day! Another great start with double shorts wearing for some members of the team and plenty of Vaseline to ease the sores! With a day of serious climbing ahead the team knuckled down for 2400 metres of climbing (around double the height of Ben Nevis), over the 66 mile ride. It got steadily cooler as we climbed so our pit stop included cups of coffee and tea, wrapping up, James & Harry snuggled up in the back of the van with a duvet , even though we were hot from the climbing we had to prepare to get up in the mist and clouds where the temperature at the peak of today's climb was 10 degrees and blustery with mist rolling across the tops of the mountains, then the sun out but it was chilly, still some snow laying around.
You can see from today's photos how changeable the weather has been all day.
Harry was first up to the top with Dave and closely followed by James then Ian who was brilliant at helping Liz keep a good and steady pace going up, Mike, Millie and Grant. Dave and Ian have been whizzing around uphill really pushing themselves to the limit to make the most of this fantastic opportunity and have had a fantastic time. Millie needed absolutely no pushing today, she nailed those Pyrenees and the team were super impressed by her epic effort (this may be something to do with Grandad Phil's secret Millie Chocolate Supply!!)
Lots of cuddles all around at the top - the peak height during the whole trip and a real milestone for everyone, so memorable. The first part of this trip really has got us all even more bike fit. It was wonderful for Mike to be able to join the team for part of the climb today, too good an opportunity to miss and he thoroughly enjoyed it - although says he'll be back in the van tomorrow.
Guess who was first and last on the downhills? Dave whizzed down the mountain with super speed, closely followed by Ian, Harry, James, Mike, then Millie, Grant and Liz. Liz was braking all the way, bit of a scaredy cat coming down and being cautious and not a big fan of heights so not a lot of break blocks left by the bottom and not much looking at the view over the edges, staying in the middle of the road when the sides were just dropping away! A superb effort again today by all the team.
We got in to our hotel this evening in great time, particularly as the heavens just opened with a thunder storm so we were lucky. The team are all now relaxing after showering, enjoying a drink in the bar and ready to eat, chat and sort out tomorrow. A truly memorable and fantastic day, finished off with some drinkies.
What do the team think about today?
Millie - "Today was tricky but amazing as always and no matter how much your injuries hurt, you can put them behind you if you are determined"
Dave - "Beer at 3 euros a pint was the perfect end to what has to be a perfect day. Biggest climb of my life, fantastic team effort - love the Pyrenees"
Ian - "Today has been the best day I have ever, ever, ever had on a bike, the scenery, the climbing, the downhills have been absolutely superb, hard, but fantastic. Andorra is heaven, it is a beautiful, beautiful place and I am so glad that I am lucky enough to see such a gorgeous place with gorgeous people for a gorgeous charity"
James - "Had a brilliant time today, extremely challenging but just thought it was brilliant"
Liz - "No matter what is hurting and sore, it'll be healed by this time next week, the children and families we are helping are not able to say the same and we are helping to make things better for them - an amazing day for so many reasons with my family and friends and feeling extremely proud and thankful for this special time"
Grant - "The kids just did fantastically well to climb that much in a day, going back down was just awesome"
Mike - "Knackered but thoroughly elated"
Phil - "Thoroughly enjoying it, beautiful scenery, should have brought me bike!!"
Harry "Great day, tough climb, but good reward at the top with views and some exciting downhills."
So there we are, over and out.
Foix - Andorra
- Distance: 66.37 miles
- Average Speed: 12.3 mph
- Top Speed: 45.6 mph
- Ride time: 5:23
- Total mileage so far: 753 miles
Day 9: 21.07.14
Total raised to date (more donations today, thank you!) £4,794.19
Today started really well with the best breakfast so far, eggs, bacon, cereal, toasts, pastries and fresh fruit - everyone was very happy! After set off we were very soon going over the border again and in to Spain with a lovely downhill to get our legs warmed up ready for the climbing later. We began climbing after around 15 miles, steadily up in the Pyrenees.
Today's climb was very different to yesterday's as the skies were much clearer which meant we could really take in the stunning scenery and see how much we were climbing too. When you looked back, you really couldn't believe you had cycled up so far and steep. At one point the team cycled up a 20% gradient and a total of 1800 meters climbed. Harry then Dave & Ian were up first closely followed by Millie, James, Grant & Liz. Grant has been doing a really valiant job looking after his family making sure they are safe all the way up and safe all the way down too.
Mike and Phil's pit stops have once again been just what the team need. The kettle is always on, water bottles are filled up, rolls are filled and pastries handed round, fresh cold juice to drink and most important smiles and congratulations greet us every time - they really have been a superb support team and made our pit stops smooth and seamless which is just what we all need.
The majority of the team have really enjoyed whizzing down the hills too, our descent today was a 10 mile run of super smooth fresh road where some real speed was picked up, top speeds just shy of 50mph - Liz on the other hand was brakes on again all the way - not sure what is more challenging, going up or coming down, but she makes it in the end. Everyone is getting different satisfaction from their climbs and descents. It's not easy watching your three children whizz down at breakneck speed, but rewarding knowing they are having a fantastic time and thrill doing it! Sores, aches and pains can be battled through when you have so much going on around you.
A bit eventful with Millie getting a puncture and James getting a blown out tyre so some maintenance on today's route. We got in in good time again today, some bike cleaning done ready for the final day tomorrow, won't we look smart riding in to Barcelona!
The team can't quite believe it's the last day tomorrow, having had an amazing nine days there are certainly mixed emotions about the last day and finishing our trip. See you all tomorrow for our final day's post, time for some food.
- Andorra - Ribes de Forbes
- Distance: 63.29 miles
- Average Speed: 14.4 mph
- Top Speed: 45.4 mph
- Ride time: 4:23
- Total mileage so far: 817 miles
- Total climbed today 1800 meters
Day 10: 22.07.14 - FINAL DAY!
The team have done it! 1000 miles from London to Barcelona!
Total raised so far is £5,449.16!!! Keep sponsoring the team please, this is a wonderful achievement and for a very worthwhile charity, Chestnut Tree House
So here's our final day's post...sorry for the delay the internet wifi is very sketchy and loading is taking a while! WE MADE IT!!! Here are some pics of our last day which was eventful. You can see we had to complete 108 miles with 2,100 meters of climbing in temperatures around the mid 30s so a really tough day. We had to take a detour as the Garmin wanted to send us down a dusty track, so that added fifteen miles on to an already tough day - although that fifteen miles was probably one of the best, most scenic parts of the whole trip so a really stunning detour.
We had two pit stops with Phil and Mike, Mike treating us all to frozen lollies at the second one which were lovely. We're going to miss being looked after so well! Unfortunately on our final leg in to Barcelona we got Garminated again and took a detour, unfortunately on to the motorway heading to Tarragona - not part of the plan. After a quick hop over the barriers and a not so quick clamber over some fencing we got back on track, eventually arriving in Barcelona at the Cathedral soon after 8.00pm.
The team are just delighted to have been able to be part of such an amazing adventure, helping each other along the way, teamwork and team spirit has been high the majority of the time during such an intensive and tough ten days and we are all safe and well. Fundraising is now at 79% £5,469 which is just fantastic thank you all so much - there is still some more to roll in.
The team had a wonderful meal last night, with drinks kindly paid for by Ian's Company, TR Fastenings - some of the team partying on in to the night and staggering back in the early hours - some letting of hair down definitely enjoyed.
- Ribes de Forbes - BARCELONA
- Distance: 108.04 miles
- Average speed: 12.8 mph
- Top Speed: 42.3 mph
- Ride time: 8:23
- Total mileage for the trip: 925 miles
For further information on the challenge click here
Team LonBar - Ian Carlton, David Wells, Grant Chatfield, Liz Chatfield, James Chatfield, Harry Chatfield and Millie Chatfield.