Spaniard sets off on 1,300-mile ride through Southern England, France & The Pyrenees

A cyclist who lives in Norwich but originally hails from Spain is heading back to his native city for a visit, but instead of the more usual route of using a cheap flight from Stansted Airport, he’ll be cycling all the way there.

Edgar Fernandez, aged 34, has lived in Norwich for the past decade and despite living in the city’s Alicante Way, his destination, Zaragoza, is a little closer than the city on the Costa Blanca.

Mr Fernandez, who aims to complete the 1,300 kilometre journey which he is undertaking with his friend Oscar Lopez in just under two weeks, reports the Norwich Evening News, with the pair traveling on mountain bikes adapted to carry panniers and camping overnight along the way.

“We will follow B-roads and cycle paths of three different countries - England, France and Spain - and this adventure will take us through Thetford Forest, Cambridge, London and Portsmouth,” explained Mr Fernandez, who is a member of the VC Norwich cycling club.

“After crossing the English Channel to France by ferry, the route runs through Normandy and along the French Atlantic coast, from Saint Malo and through Nantes, Bordeaux and Bayonne,” he continued.

“Crossing the Pyrenees at Roncesvalles, we will enter in Spain through Navarra to cross the Bárdenas Reales desert and arrive at our destination, Zaragoza, hopefully 13 days later,” he added.

Mr Fernandez said: “The most challenging stages will definitely be the hills in Surrey and crossing the Pyrenees towards the end of the journey. The wind along the French Atlantic coast can be an important factor too and could turn an easy flat stage into a nightmare. Aside from geographical and climate factors, communication in France could be a challenge since neither of us speaks a word of French.”

The cyclist will be blogging about his travels, which can be followed here.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.