CHRIS COOPER - CYCLING FROM VILLA PARK TO PARIS FOR 'THE PAUL BIRCH TRUST'
DAILY BLOG - DAY 1 - SATURDAY 4TH OCTOBER 2008
I've just landed at Milton Keynes Premier Lodge hotel after completing my first day.
I had a great send off at Villa Park this morning from family, friends, supporters and former Villa players that included Chris Nicholl, Garry Thompson and Neil Rioch.
I set off on my journey in the bitterly cold winds and began my venture to Paris, with the help of fellow supporter Ian Robotham who kindly cycled the first 20 miles with me and guided me out of Birmingham, towards Rugby.
Just south of Birmingham, I was forced to stop by a lorry driver waving a piece of paper. He got out of his cab and said he'd heard about my bike ride on the radio and thought it was fantastic, then gave me the piece of paper - a £10 note. Brilliant.
The training I have put in this summer had not prepared me for winds like these, and this took a bit of getting used to.
We had our first break after 36 miles in Rugby, where we stopped for lunch and a strong coffee! So far so good, but the winds are really picking up and I am finding it difficult keeping the bike straight.
My next part of the journey saw me travel through Daventry, and eventually down to Towcester. At this point, I have travelled 62 miles and have just 12 left. Time for a quick breather, and then back onto the A5 and into Milton Keynes.
1 day down, 4 to go...
Cycling from Villa Park to Paris
For The Paul Birch Trust
Used with permission of Neil Rioch. www.astonvillafpa.org
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