Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Jim to ride Loire to raise money for teenagers with cancer

Esme Morris Macintyre: 1995-2013
Early Last July my partner's niece, Esme Morris Macintyre, lost her seven year battle with a brain tumour. She was just 11 when the tumour was discovered and 18 when she died.

In those seven years she raised thousands for teenagers with cancer. Her death, her brave fight and indomitable spirit have inspired others to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. (See Esme's Adventure on Facebook: Esme set up this page when she knew that she had only a few months more to live.

Last August Esme's aunt Carole Macintyre cycled from John O'Groats to Esme's home in Kinross, some 300 miles if you include a few involuntary diversions. I rode with her as support vehicle. She raised some £3600 for Teenage Cancer Trust.
Carole@John O'Groats, Scotland
This June we plan to reverse roles with me riding from the source of the Loire at Gerbier de Jonc to La Baule, where the river flows into the Atlantic. Although 1000 kilometres by river but it will be just short of 1200 by road. Carole will kindly be supporting me but this time support will be motorised.

Again the ride will be to raise money for teenagers with cancer but this time I plan to assist two charities - Teenage Cancer Trust ( and Fondation Gustave Roussy (

The current plan is to take seven to eight days to ride from the source to the Atlantic starting from Gerbier de Jonc heading to to Solignac-sur-Loire then following the Loire northwards to Le Puy, passing just to the west of Saint-Etienne onto Roanne, Digoin, Decize and Nevers. Once I reach Nevers there is a recognized and signposted cycle route from there to the Atlantic. Before then there may be some cycle routes but as far as I know not yet a complete cycle route.

Halfway point: sign on the bridge across the river@Pouilly-sur-Loire
From Nevers the route runs on the West Bank of the Loire past the bridge across the river to Pouilly-sur-Loire, which marks the halfway point for the Loire’s journey to the sea. Then I will be skirting round Sancerre to the east and staying mainly on the west bank until Orléans, where the Loire decides against heading onto Paris, instead heading westwards. Much of the remainder of the route will be on the now south bank of the Loire until I reach the Pont de Saint-Nazaire to finish the last few kilometres to La Baule on the north side.

More details to follow along with a donation link. Will be very grateful for any advice.
Jim's VTT in vines above Chavignol (Sancerre) March 2013

A sorry sight!

An unfortunate postscript!
This post first appeared early yesterday morning on Les 5 du Vin blog and yesterday was the day we motored back to London from the Loire with our bikes on special roof racks. When we left Touraine it was a calm sunny day. Unfortunately by the time we reached the Baie de Somme the wind had really got up. Very soon after we joined the A16 for the run to Calais there was a loud crack and my bike was ripped from its rack and deposited on the carriageway. On its way it hit the back windscreen, shattering it.

We are not sure how it happened but there was a large lorry passing on the other carriageway heading towards Paris and combined with a big gust of wind, produced a force that tore the bike from its housing and completely searing off the rear fastening. The locking part would have released the bike as it is designed to do in the event of a crash.

Luckily there was no other car near us and two or three cars swerved to avoid the bike that was now in the middle of the nearside carriageway. As I ran back along the hard shoulder to try to rescue the bike and get it off the autoroute, an approaching lorry spotted me and the crippled bike. Very kindly he slowed to a halt putting on his hazard lights and a car in the outer lane followed suit and I was able to pick up the bike without risk.

Now it is a question of finding out if the bike can be repaired – the part of the frame that holds the gear change mechanism has been sheared off.

 Not going to get me very far in its current state!





Gerry Dawes said...

Very sorry to hear about your misfortune, Jim, but this, too, will have a good outcome. Thanks be to Bacchus, you were not on the bike when the trouble occurred. You are doing a wonderful thing and everyone is pulling for you. It will all turn out alright.
Any e-mails should be sent to my normal Google is screwing me about big time. Disregard the gmail address below.

Jim Budd said...

Thanks Gerry. Confident that it will work out fine. In any case the bulk of the necessary training for the ride while back in London was always going to be done in the Forest Hill gym.

Susan said...

Gosh what a dramatic thing to have happened! It must have really given you a fright. Hurrah for the truck driver who reacted to keep you safe.

I hope all goes well with the ride eventually. That's a long way. Once your fundraising site is up and running I'll mention it on our blog.

Jim Budd said...

Many thanks Susan. Jim

Georges Meekers said...

Good luck. Jim.

Luc Charlier said...

Jim, several comments, not all of them 100% kind, as you would expect from me.
1) This mishap of yours, annoying as it is, is still no big deal as nobody’s hurt. Better drop a bike from a car than sit on a Malaysian plane: at least, you were able to collect all the items, bits and pieces, after all. Maybe the black box will tell you exactly what happened and how to fasten the machine next time (changing the system). I don’t trust all these racks (be they on top or on the back windscreen). A solid construction on the caravan coupling is much better. Look at the Dutch: they all have it and they are the experts. End of my naughty comments.
2) We will post something on our blog ourselves, another 1.000 readers only, but who knows?
3) You’ll have a marvelous ride, as well as doing something useful.
4) And a word of hope for your readers: even though Miss Macintyre didn’t win in the end – I followed your humane descriptions last year – everybody should realize there is not ONE cancer, but many different types and hers was a very tough one. Brain tumours are difficult to treat and many other apparented diseases can be cured in the end, given the right approach. That’s why you are going to be pedaling.

Jim Budd said...

Georges and Luc. Many thanks for your comments. Luc of course there are many things worse than a damaged bike, which can either be repaired or replaced.

Frank said...

Condolences on the bike, but glad it wasn't more serious. I bought a small Prius wagon just so I could put the bike in the back for long trips.

And the good part: No one will begrudge you a shiny new bike, especially given the cause for which you will ride it.


Jim Budd said...

Frank. Thanks although I am indeed tempted by a shiny new bike, the Scott 35 is now in Evens' cycle hospital and will I think be sorted OK as the frame isn't actually damaged just the part that connects the rear gear changer and that can be replaced.