A SANDBACH man who bought a derelict barn in the Pyrenees has written a book about the cycling trip he made from Cheshire to his new home in southern France.

John and June Roome bought the French property in 2002, using it as a base from which to explore the area’s stunning scenery.

They then hatched an ambitious plan to take their cycles on trains to Portsmouth, get on a ferry and cycle all the way through France to their new house.

The journey is chronicled in John’s self-published novel, Bottoms Up! I’m Not Really A Cyclist, available from Lulu.com.

John explained: “We began cycling in September last year, the first night’s accommodation in Brittany being booked at an old chateau 60kms south of St Malo.

“After that, our journey took us through Brittany to the old U-boat pens of St Nazaire, down the Atlantic Coast to the ancient town of La Rochelle, via Royan, the Gironde Estuary and beyond the vineyards of Bordeaux.”

After following the Garonne River, their route turned inland to trace the river Lot, climbing up into the Massif Central.

They reached the barn after 19 days and 1150kms of cycling.

“It was a great adventure, and lots of fun,” said John, who hoped that his book would inspire others to make their own life-changing journeys.