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Ashley

Ashley and Jo's Tour de France

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As some of you will know, next week myself and Northern Star set out from London, for Paris just with our little legs and cycle power. I know a few people have asked where our sponsorship page links are and how we are both getting on, so I thought I would create this page so we can both blog throughout next week.

Firstly, a huge thank you to anyone that as sponsored us, I will message you all next week when I return to thank you and tell you how I got on, but to those that sponsored me anonymously, all I can do is thank you here. It really does mean a lot, and the kind generosity of some people is what will keep me going next week. I think for different reasons this will be the biggest challenges we have faced (if you discount the daily battle of OCD).

For anyone that would like to sponsor either of us.

Click here to sponsor Northern Star.

Click here to sponsor myself.

For both of us, I think it is about awareness as much as fundraising, but the personal battles and challenges have already begun and I think for us both, every single penny raised will be earned the hard way. I know Jo as already blogged about the OCD aspect and worries, and I know my OCD is starting to rise about having contamination from toilet, or rather lack of finding a toilet out in the countryside of Kent or France. Also sharing a room with some guy I don't know is not exactly fun for me OCD wise.

For me, I now have an injury worry ahead of next week after straining the back of my knee and calf on a 38-mile training ride on Sunday. Whilst I felt positive that I had felt comfortable of being able to go on from a fitness perspective, the knee discomfort is disheartening. So this week I am no longer going out on my bike working on hill endurance as I had planned to do, instead it is a case of resting the leg. I think I know what did it, I had adjusted my seat up, and I now realise I was too high up, so hopefully assuming the leg is ok by next week, I won't have a repeat (touch wood).

I have been out a few times now with my OCD-UK cycle jersey which I think looks fab, and is practical too with the pockets on my back able to store all sorts of gels and water bottle etc.

It all starts for us next Tuesday when we make our respective way into London, and the tour starts in earnest at 6am on the Wednesday morning! If anyone knows of a live tracking App (Android) I will enable it so you can all follow our route, otherwise this link will be updated at the end of each day with our route.

Wish us luck, I can't speak for Jo, but I will need it both fitness wise and OCD wise!

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Guest legend

best of luck to you both and a huge well done for doing it, and raising awareness along the way :O)

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Best of luck Ashley and Jo.......what you are doing is amazing :clap:

Big thank you for all your hard work, hope you get to enjoy the experience (even a little bit) :wink:

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Oh wow - I didn't realise you guys were doing this! Good luck to you both - enjoy a croissant in France on me!

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I think the technical term for how I have been feeling might be "bricking it" ;)

I am a little excited but more petrified. My contamination OCD is fairly severe at the moment - often bathing after using the loo, changing clothes throughout the day, avoiding drinking to reduce the number of times I have to go to the loo, etc etc. I did my final big ride today before I set off for London on Tuesday - should be time for my little legs to recover. My fitness has definitely improved (although Ashley has promised not to cycle off and leave me behind......) but I'm barely thinking about the distances involved - I am more worried about where / when I will be able to wash etc. I don't want to annoy whomever I'm sharing a room with by washing / showering for ages but if that's what it takes to get through this then it will have to be so.

On the cycle today I did manage a couple of things I haven't managed in a long time, if at all - I used two loos whilst out (obviously I couldn't wash except my hands / arms after that) whereas normally I use the loo, then bath, then put my cycling gear on, and also when I was cycling on a trail I went through mud and what I think was horse mess - I screamed but there wasn't much I could do about it as we were in the middle of nowhere. Here's an idea - horses can have feed-bags, could someone not invent a similar device for the other end?!

Anyways, a huge thank you to everyone who has supported and sponsored me in the build-up to this. The nerves are starting to kick in; the next week will be one of the hardest of my life. I just hope I can be strong enough to complete this challenge!

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I know you dont like pinned topics Ashley, but how are we going to follow the blog if it keeps disappearing, so just this once Ive overruled you!! :lol:

We all really admire what Jo and you are doing, its a huge challenge and will be a huge achievement when the Eifel Tower appears on the horizon.

We will be thinking of you both, especially on that hill on the road to Dover!!!

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Here we go - off to London in the morning. It feels like only yesterday that I signed up, but actually it was back in May. I have done quite a bit of training, not as much as perhaps I could have, but with work and OCD time gets squeezed a bit short. I am excited but nervous - very scared about my OCD but I can just take it a day...or an hour....or a hill....or a pedal....at a time!

Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored me and sent me kind messages of support. I even had a card signed by people at work, which is safely tucked in one of my bags ready to look at when it gets tough.

Can't believe I'm doing this - putting myself through one of my worst fears - part of me will be so relieved when it's over but I'm hoping to beat OCD enough to enjoy it at least a little bit :) I will try to update this thread as we go, might have to rely on Ashley's phone to do so but if mine will let me then I will post updates.

Until then,

Bon voyage and I will be having plenty of :wine: in :France: when not :bicycle: !

Edited by Northern Star

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Best of luck to you both you should be proud you are both doing a great thing even though it is hard for you, Your stronger than you think.

All the best Joanne xx

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All the best to both of you! What are are doing is incredibly brave, I hope you both enjoy it.

I look forward to reading your updates

Good luck!!! xx

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I am on the train on my way to london and have already had my first OCD challenge with a slightly manky station loo!! Reading in the newspaper this morning that Lee Pearson, Paralympic medallist, has said: I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, so one medal of each colour will look really good above the fireplace, has only served to remind me why this fund-and-awareness-raising trip is so vital to try to educate people out of such ignorant comments. PS Apologies for lack of punctuation and spacing - am writing this on my phone and amazed I have managed that!

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proud of you both, fantastic spirit and overcoming of both your OCDs, well done!

cant wait for some updates

xxx

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This has come around quick. Yaaay, I'm excited for you both. All the best, hope you enjoy the challenge, I'm sure it will be very rewarding. When you're struggling just remember we're all here cheering you on! :cheer: Gimme an O. Gimme a C. Gimme a D. What does it spell? A nasty illness that you're gonna ride all over. ;)

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Amazing, guys - what an incredible thing to do. Off to sponsor you both right now. Noooooooooooooooodles of luck to you both - hope you manage to have some fun xx

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We are doing ok! Just under 92 miles to Dover yesterday and then after ferry a long 6 miles to hotel. Today was surprisingly easier 71 miles Calais to abberville. Some stunning countryside, some challenging hill climbs too! 72 miles tomorrow, hopefully tad flatter. Feel ok'ish, saddle sore though. I lost my legs earlier today nothing in them at all but the group we cycled with (5 of us) pulled me through it and after couple of miles the engine was going again. Only other incident to report was a cow running straight out at us which resulted in lots of brakes followed by fits of amusement, well for me. OCD I'm coping, lots of pee breaks due to water being drank. I think Jo is finding it tough so as earned every penny of her sponsorship!

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(Hehe, love your cheer squad there Caramoole).

Wow. Well done Ash! Keep it up. :cheer: Gooooooo Ash!!

:cheer: Gimme a C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N. Champion! C'mon Jo, you can do it!!

Edited by PartVie

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All the best to both of you,What are are doing is incredibly brave and kind, I hope you both enjoy it.

Good luck xx .

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Final 55 miles into Paris tomorrow. Amazing weather, beautiful countryside, huge hills to sap the legs. I did forget to ride on the right once too. I have also pushed my OCD and litterly pee'd myself through France (behind bushes of course) not washed and felt good. Almost 225 miles cycled just 55 to go.

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Guest legend

Final 55 miles into Paris tomorrow. Amazing weather, beautiful countryside, huge hills to sap the legs. I did forget to ride on the right once too. I have also pushed my OCD and litterly pee'd myself through France (behind bushes of course) not washed and felt good. Almost 225 miles cycled just 55 to go.

Well done ashley, thats one of the most inspirational posts i have read for a long time.

Superb

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