David McWilliam

Partner, Solicitor and Head of Personal Injury & Sports Law

DATE PUBLISHED: 11 Mar 2016 LAST UPDATED: 08 Jul 2021

Rome 2 Home cycle ride completed

On 4th October 2015 I made the 10 mile cycle from Poole Ferry Port to my home to complete the mammoth cycle ride from Rome to Home. 1441 miles were covered in 14 days by 20 riders and our fantastic support team.

We flew to Rome and spent our first night discussing the challenges to come. On Saturday 19thSeptember, we embarked on day 1 which was a nice gentle introduction covering 128 miles which is the furthest that any of us had ridden before. A mere 4395 calories were burnt so the refuelling commenced. We had a 5 minute rain shower but that turned out to be the only rain of the whole trip.

Day 2 was 92 miles and we finished in the lovely city of Pisa next to the famous tower. Photographs were taken and we all knew that day 3 was going to be the toughest day of the trip with the Italian mountains waiting for us .We set off early and saw some stunning coastline whilst going up & down various gradients ramping up to 18% in places. It was also 30 degrees. One ascent allowed us to enjoy a 10 mile descent. After over 8 hours in the saddle, we arrived in the city of Genoa in darkness and had covered 125 miles and climbed nearly 8,900 feet in 1 day. A well earned sports massage followed by a pizza was most welcome.

From Genoa, we had a relatively easy day of just 78 miles which was almost a rest day. Day 4 was one of the highlights because we passed through the Italy/France border and cycled into Monaco. I met a friend who was exhibiting at The Monaco Boat Show and we were treated to lunch with the most stunning of backdrops. We then cycled through Cannes & Nice. A map highlighted how far we had to go from the South of France to the North.

The days passed and the mileage was been knocked off. Another 4 days of 100 miles each were chalked off. We cycled on roads with vineyards either side for miles and no wine had been touched! However, this changed when we stopped in Chateauneuf Du Pape for lunch. I could not miss the opportunity to sample a small glass of red. We then cycled 60 miles into a headwind for the rest of that day.

We finished in Lyon on day 8 which is a beautiful place. Just a shame that we did not have time to see more of it. Day 10 took us to Tours which was also beautiful with some stunning buildings and we were told that the French call Tours, the mini Paris.

We went through a town that had the Tour De France come through in 2013 with a lovely sculpture on a roundabout to mark the occasion. I doubt Chris Froome had time to admire it on the way to his first victory that year.

Coffee and cake stops in the morning were an essential part of each day. The French certainly know how to make cakes!

The end was now in sight with Cherbourg our final destination. On the last day we all rode the first 30 miles in fancy dress. Oh and I was actually wearing a dress! We all then changed into our team kit for the last 40 miles into Cherbourg. We rode into the hotel to be met by our support team and many bottles of Champagne were sprayed and consumed. A final night out celebrating was a great end to the trip. After getting the ferry home the next day, I rode the 10 miles back home to be met by about 30 family & friends who had patiently waitRed for me.

Some statistics for you:

  • Total miles 1341
  • Feet climbed 51,924
  • Calories burnt over 35,000 – I can’t reveal the exact amount due to a competition that I will be running at the Primera Bike Show on 21st November 2015

The ride was to raise money for The Steve Bernard Foundation which funds local sporting projects. Steve was killed in a car accident at the age of 18 in 2005. His Dad, Tony and brother Jacques are an inspiration and it was an emotional time when we finished the ride.

The aim was to raise £20,000 to take the Foundation’s fundraising to £250,000 over the last 20 years. At present, the amount raised is £19,600.

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