Ride for Life Trip Topsham-Venice 1997
Trip Diary Index

Trip Summary

Degree of Difficulty Legend: In honour of Dr. Gordon Milne, an old friend of the Jordan family who has some interesting and creative theories about the treatment of cyclist's ailments, we have devised our banana scale to rate degree of difficulty for our rides, based on terrain, prevailing weather conditions -- rain, wind, heat, etc -- when we undertake them, as well as other more personal considerations.
The scale goes from -- easy, relatively flat, no (or very little) pain
to -- horrendous, legs-turned-to-jelly, lung-scorching climbs, or endless rides that induce extreme pain or discomfort in other parts. Incidentally, after the banana was scanned in, Guy ate it.


Day 1


Wed June 11th Topsham-Poole 80 miles/128 km


"Testing first day across the south coast of England"



Day 2


Thur June 12th Poole-Cherbourg (ferry) Cherbourg-Bayeux 56 miles/95 km


"Across the Channel, then a half day's ride down the Cherbourg Peninsula"


Day 3


Fri June 13th Bayeux-Caen-Livarot-St Evroult Notre Dame du Bois (note: Fri the 13th) 81 miles/130 km


"The rolling, green hills of Normandy, source of some of France's greatest cheeses"


Day 4


Sat June 14th St Evroult Notre Dame du Bois-Chartres-Santilly 87 miles/140 km


"Time to visit Chartres' magnificent cathedral? We doubt it."


Day 5


Sun June 15th Santilly-Orleans-Cosne sur Loire 90 miles/145 km


"Along the middle reaches of the Loire River, longest in France."


Day 6


Mon June 16th Cosne sur Loire-Pouilly sur Loire 20 miles/32 km


"Time for an easy half day's ride to one of the great wine towns of France, Sancerre."


Day 7


Tue June 17th Pouilly sur Loire-Nevers-Decize-Digoin 90 miles/145 km


"Crossing the broad Massif Central."


Day 8


Wed June 18th Digoin-Charolles-Macon-Chatillon-Villars les Dombes 81 miles/130 km


"Into, then too quickly out of Burgundy, as we head towards the mountains."


Day 9


Thu June 19th Villars les Dombes-Aix les Bains-Chambery-St Pierre d'Albigny 88 miles/140 km


"A very tough, long ride through beautiful pre-alpine country, the mountains beckoning before us."


Day 10


Fri June 20th St Pierre d'Albigny-Lanslevillard 70 miles/110 km


"To the foot of Mont Cenis in preparation for the assault on the Alps."


Day 11


Sat June 21st Rest Day


"Rest and mental preparations for the big climb ahead of us."


Day 12


Sun June 22nd Lanslevillard-Bussoleno-Avigliana 50 miles/80 km


"To the top of the world, then down, down, down: into Italy!"


Day 13


Mon June 23rd Avigliana-Alba 47 miles/75 km


"To visit our friend winemaker Mario Fontana"


Day 14


Tue June 24th Day in Alba 10 miles/16 km


"Alba, capital of the Barolo, one of the great wine regions of the world"


Day 15


Wed June 25th Alba-Asti-Piacenza 100 miles/160 km


"A long and probably baking hot day in the saddle."


Day 16


Thur June 26th Piacenza-Cremona-Mantova-Isola della Scala 88 miles/140 km


"Across the Po Valley to the rice paddies south of Verona, source of the exceptional Venetian Vialone Nano rice."


Day 17


Fri June 27th Isola della Scala-Montegrotto Terme 65 miles/105 km


"To visit Marc's mother Lori's -- and our -- dear friend Elda in Padova"


Day 18


Sat June 28th Montegrotto Terme-Venice 37.5 miles/60 km


"Reunite with our family and friends who are coming out to meet us and perhaps a glass or two of Prosecco at Florians to celebrate our arrival in Piazza San Marco."

Please send any comments about this web site or Ride for Life to:


Ride for Life support vehicle supplied by:
Plymouth Motorcaravans

Our Sponsors