Wow! Just three letters but there is no better word to describe the feeling as we arrived at the foot of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio yesterday.
Highto Road To Rio
After two thousand eight hundred miles, five countries in two continents, too many punctures to remember, the occasional crash, roads that went from rather good to just plain ridiculous, some early saddle soreness and a rash of happy memories that will last a lifetime, the Ride To Rio team reached its destination.

It all felt quite surreal at the end. One of the team members, Charlie Webster, had a media commitment as the others set off and didn’t want to reach the top on her own so I hung back for her.

When we approached the last corner there wasn’t much to see because the clouds were so low, but when we turned to the top a sudden breeze blew away the clouds and there was the magnificent statue of Christ the Redeemer.

After lots of hugs and handshakes and even more photos, the team had a few minutes to take it all in, which was very special. The Latvian Olympic team were all there as well, which served as a nice reminder why we had chosen Rio as our destination.

From there we headed down into the city to do some media interviews at the Olympic Park before returning to our hotel – the home for the Kazakhstan Olympic team – for a quick shower and change before doing some proper sightseeing.

Rio is an amazing city, especially with everything that’s going on with the Olympics, and I’ve decided to stay here for a couple more days to have a proper look around before heading home on Tuesday.
HIghto SOM 20156 tee shirt
The next few days will also provide an opportunity to get some perspective in my life: for the last six weeks all I’ve done is focus on the ride by waking in a hotel room, having my breakfast provided for me, cycled for a day, showered in another hotel and then eaten in a restaurant.

It’s going to feel strange fending for myself, and I’ve already realised that I need to find myself another challenge, although I’m not sure what. Suggestions on a postcard…

As I’ve said many times throughout this journey, it’s been an amazing experience and one that’s changed me in so many ways. I’m really pleased I got the chance to do this. If someone had told me a year ago that I’d cycle through France I wouldn’t have believed them.

But I did get through France, and across the Pyrenees and then through Spain and into Portugal. And then rode almost 1,000 miles through Brazil! As I said at the start, wow!

The Ride To Rio wasn’t about me though, or Keith, or Charlie, or Mike or any of the other people involved: it was all about the hundreds of young cancer patients who need the support of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

And about the many former Rugby League players who can now turn to Rugby League Cares for support and guidance when things go wrong in their lives after retirement. And about the current players to whom Rugby League Cares provides grants for education and welfare to help them prepare for life after rugby.

A big thanks to all of you who have donated during the course of my fantastic journey – if you haven’t yet made a donation, please do so via the details below.

Just don’t expect me to ride home!

To sponsor Paul please visit or text JRTR70 £5 to 70070 to donate £5.