Ten years on from our first long-distance bike trip, and just over three years since the last annual event, we're on the eve of a reunion tour, and probably our toughest yet... a long talked about dream tour through the Pyrenees, taking in some of the major Cols often ascended by le Tour and La Vuelta. (See our 2013 route.)
Six of us made that first trip - a three day jolly from Oxford to Paris, that took in an overnight ferry, snow in Le Havre, a scary ride over the Pont de Tancarville and ended under the Eiffel Tower.
We became a well-drilled touring unit over the next six years, with a further six tours across various parts of Europe, ending in a variety of major capital cities, including Madrid, Rome, Budapest and Athens. A variety of tourists have taken part in the trips, with the Stoat and the Badger being the ever present members of our motley crews, sharing rooms and beds and many adventures along the way.
So, after a few years off, it feels like we're back where we started. Total blissful ignorance of the scale of the challenge, and the hills, ahead of us. Looking forward to the banter and the cameraderie, the beer at the end, and meeting up with the girls for a relaxing weekend in Barcelona.
Finally, a shout out from John, Nick, Pete and Adam to those who couldn't make it this year: Jake, Adrian, Steve, Nick Corbett. We'll be raising a glass and two fingers to you every pedal we take.