12 Days to go until the big day arrives.

This weekend, myself, Rebecca, and four members of our group went for a leisurely 70 miles ride round the Chiltern Downs.

Or the Chiltern Ups as they really should be known.

I should explain, the riders are in three groups, the Hares, the Hornets, and the Rhinos.

As I'm sure you can imagine, the Hares are super fast - populated with people who compete for Great Britain and generally cycle in their sleep.

The Hornets are not too far behind the Hares, leaving the Rhinos trailing in their wake.

Unsurprisingly, I am a member of the Rhino team. Having scared the living daylights out of myself by finding out rhinos can run at up to 65 miles an hour, I am more relaxed after this weekend.

I'm not going to lie to you, this Saturday was no walk in the park and I struggled at times.

Going up some of the hills, I feared I would not make it to the top. And I have a sore knee as well which doesn't help.

But I made it intact, and though exhausted, I think I could have done the same again the next day with a bit of encouragement.

We saw somee beautiful sights, including bluebells, paragliders, an empty penguin enclosure, and on one occasion, a wild deer...possibly.

It was worth all the effort just to tell people how far I had gone, and made me more excited for getting on the road to Paris.

I am getting myself kitted out with various cycling paraphenalia this week, including padded cycling shorts, which should be exciting.

In the meantime, on the right is a photo of me trying to jump a horse racing fence during some 'training' last weekend.

And if you can sponsor me, please do. The total is gradually rising, but I need more. www.justgiving.co.uk/tristankirk.