Everything is always better when the sun is shining and today was a hot one!
The day started with a trip to Villers-Bretonneux – the Australian Cemetery where our Australian contingent Mates 4 Mates held a ceremony and one of the team, Mark, gave an incredibly moving speech about his experiences in Rwanda. Many riders were brought to tears by his words.
After Villers-Bretonneux we travelled on to Moreuil where the Battlefield Guides tell the true story of Warrior, the horse the Germans Couldn’t kill, who led the charge at Moreuil Wood. Warrior is now better known as ‘The War Horse’ as there was a book, play and now film based on his life – which was several years longer than it should have been!
The fairly ‘lumpy’ roads that characterised most of the morning meant that everyone was glad when eventually the lunch stop came into sight and once again, Extreme Hospitality fed us a delicious meal to keep up energy levels.
It was at this point that many of the fundraisers and Band of Brothers changed into fancy dress costumes. The official theme was Where’s Wally and there were plenty of red and white striped riders pedalling through the villages of France this afternoon. However, some riders chose different themes and among them we had a group of H4H onesies, an Irish lepricorn and the Band of Brothers who chose to go with an Anchorman theme – plenty of dodgy suits and stuck on moustaches all round!
Team H4H decided to entertain riders in the afternoon by hiding in corn fields by the road side and jumping out to surprise riders as they got close in an aim to get them laughing at the mid afternoon lull when they may have been feeling a bit tired and low. It seemed to do the job! The best reatcion came from our French handcyclist Sebastian, who speaks very little English but most defintely understood H4H leaping out of a hiding place and shouting his name. (and thankfully found it funny!).
There were more guided stops in store – one at Cantigny at the memorial in the centre of the village and ne at Compiegne Chateau – and several unguided stops at cafes en route. For many, the combination of the sun and the dehydration from all the cycling meant they just HAD to stop for a drink, and what better drink to round off your day in the saddle than beer?
Tomorrow is the final stretch of the BBBR so hopefully the riders will remember to not have too many beers until we start celebrating in Paris when we arrive at Les Invalides!
You can support our BBBR riders by texting 'RIDE' to 70900 to donate £5. You will be charged £5 plus your standard network rate. £5 goes directly to Help for Heroes. Telephone help line number is 01494 750 500.
Find out more about hero ride at www.heroride.org.uk