Setting off

Two wheels good...

The send off from the Pyramids was fantastic. A police escort took us up and it really was something to see – a peleton of 60+ brightly lycraed riders snaking around the pyramids, egged on by the camel riders waiting for the tourist trade.

We were at the top for about an hour, drinking tea and eating our post breakfast snacks. Everyone milling around and trying to remember names and faces. It was freezing cold but definitely worth it for the pictures.

We cycled down past the sphynx and then through the streets of Cairo. The Cairenes were amazed, amused and encouraged us on our way with shouts of Miyyah Miyyah and Shiddi Haylak.

Quite a strange experience cycling through rush hour traffic round the ring road of a major city. Even stranger was being cheered on rather than sworn at as we brought everything to a standstill. We only caused one tiny crash as a car on the other side of the dual carriageway clearly couldn’t believe what he was seeing and tailended the car in front.

We’d set off from the hotel at about 6 and finally got out on to the open road at 11. Then it was a straight run. Nice paved roads, straight lines and a decent tail wind. I cycled with a Canadian body builder who kept my pace up nicely.

Rolled into camp about 4.30 and then began the tent debacle. I have brought the wrong tent! It is hugely complex to assemble and as tall as the Eiffel Tower. 5 Tour boys ended up helping me – with English Sally who had experienced a similar tent-

At the start

directing proceedings.

We were all in bed – well on sleeping mats – by 7. A 5.45 wake up call the next day.

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