N2A – day minus one

17 Sep

It’s the night before the start of Nice to Annecy (N2A), our third installment of pain and suffering for charity.

This year we are 26 souls (up from 23 last year) – we would have been 28 but we had 2 enforced drop outs through injury and work commitments (Mark D and Chik).  There are some new faces amongst the G2MC and T2MC veterans, and we are joined by Gideon, Peter and Claude of Classic Tours – who have been with us on all our trips to date – and Lee the paramedic in case we have any woopsies.

We are assembled in Carros, just north of Nice, to put the bikes together and share a “last supper” before heading North into the Alps.  In the two prior editions, we have finished in Monte Carlo for the Reinsurance Rendezvous.  This year, the timing of the second weekend in September – the traditional start of the Rendezvous – was early in the month, which meant starting the ride after Monte.

This means riding from the Mediterranean warmth into the colder Alpine air, and the 10 day delay in starting means the prospects of bad weather are greater than before (recalling the huge downpour we suffered on day 5 last year).  In fact, the forecast is rather horrible!

Our very generous corporate sponsors have kitted us out in some great tour gear – photo in tomorrow’s post – thanks to KPMG, AMC, Validus, AlphaCat, LGT, D&J Construction, Axis, The Prostate Practice and PaddyO’s.  Special thanks to Tim Everest and Alina Reitz for the design and VOMax for expediting production of the kit.

Readers may have already been approached by our riders for charity donations.  Whichever rider(s) you choose to support, please dig deep, knowing they will be digging deep – mentally and physically.  This year, I am supporting the Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy (a school for profoundly disabled Bermudian children) and Great Ormond Street Hospital (which needs no introduction, in memory of one of my daughter Megan’s friends who tragically died there earlier this year).

My preparation for this year has been hampered by a bit of a health issue.  A few weeks ago, I started having episodes of a heart condition called atrial fibrillation (AF).  After loads of tests, it appears I do not have heart disease but a periodic electrical short circuit.  AF causes a rapid, irregular heartbeat – the heart doesn’t beat to a good rhythm and becomes very inefficient. For most of the time, my heartbeat is totally normal but on occasion it flicks temporarily into AF, for reasons which are not yet clear.  I have cut out coffee and cut way down on alcohol, though neither has stopped the episodes completely.  I have been able to continue to ride, though I cannot press hard during an AF episode – the body just doesn’t work when the heart isn’t pumping properly.

After taking medical advice from my GP and cardiologist, I’m going to give the ride a go – starting a little earlier like last year and making sure I am properly warmed up, and hopefully there will be no AF.  However, I may have to take the van if I keep getting AF episodes.  As I type this, I have no idea whether I am going to be able to finish the ride – you’ll know quite soon after me!

Wish us luck!



4 Responses to “N2A – day minus one”

  1. Garth Thomson September 17, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    Best of luck in this epic journey. Enjoy the scenery along the way. Be safe Charlie and give Richie, Hank, and Mark B a good kick in the rear from me.


  2. Paul Procter September 18, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    Good luck to you and all the team. I know how much this ride means to you and all the hard work you have put on the organise yet again. Sounds like a good ploy to take the van on the way up! Have a great trip and as usual I am sure you and all the team will have some great moments to relish along the way – looking forward to the blogs. Stay safe and have fun. Pablo

  3. Chikashi September 18, 2014 at 7:11 am #

    Charlie, I hope there will be no AF episodes.

    All, have fun, ride safe. And, yeah, the weather forecast looks a bit shit. I hope you have good rain gear and keep warm!

  4. Gordy Benson September 18, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Good Luck and God Speed One and all. May the wind forever be at your back. Best, Gordy

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