So says the ancient Chinese proverb. For Barry Phillips his journey of 1000 miles (1600 km) starts with a single push of a pedal in St Malo a chilly Channel port in the north of France on 30th May. His destination? Nice – on the Cote D’Azur of the sun blessed Mediterranean. He will ride this iconic Channel to Med odyssey organised by Saddle Skeddadle (www.skeddadle.co.uk) with some 16 other cyclists. The first half passes through the quaint villages in the undulating farming landscape of rural France heading south to the banks of the Loire – France’s longest river and then into the rolling hills of the Dordogne. Heading east, the second more challenging half begins in the mountainous region of southern France but the vineyards of the Rhone Valley, home to many world renowned wine regions like Chateauneuf-du-Pape, will be reminiscent of Franschhoek. And 18 days later after an average daily distance of over 90km and a total ascent equal to almost twice the height of Everest the odyssey ends with a ride along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and a very welcome dip in the warm waters of the Med!
Although it may be a bucket list ride for Barry he would like it to be a fundraiser for four Franschhoek NGOs – Kusasa, FRANCO, Franschhoek Hospice and Franschhoek SPCA. For Kusasa it will be for the cost of one child for a year at its Early Leaning Centre – R30000; for FRANCO it will be for skills development courses for school leavers; for Franschhoek Hospice it will help pay for a much needed car for its outreach programme; and for Franschhoek SPCA it will pay for 50 sterilisations for its absolutely vital and ongoing township sterilisation programme.
Barry has set himself an ambitious target – 120 sponsors each committing to pay R1 (more or less is equally welcome) for every mile of his 1000 mile journey. Will you be one of them? All donations are tax deductible for South African taxpayers. For more info go to www.barrystourdefrance.co.za or just email your pledge to firstname.lastname@example.org.