That’s All!

By the way this project is now over and achieved, so feel free to browse this site and hopefully it will help you to achieve something similar! I won’t update the site anymore but I let it live.

See you on the road!

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London To Paris – Day 3 Beauvais to Paris: Ride to Glory

Here we go, it’s monday and this is the last day of the trip where hopefully I’m arriving in Paris, alive. Monday morning at the hotel I met this group of 6 British fellows doing the same route, we had a chat about the trip and stuff; as for the first day on the ferry when I met with those 2 guys from Lake District, the atmosphere was nice and we had a hood laugh.

Shortly after 9.30am I left the hotel for what I expected to be an easy day to arrive in the center of Paris. Sun is shining and the traffic is light. However it’s very very windy and the route between Beauvais and Paris (via Méru, Taverny, Clichy) is hilly.

As a result of this, my average speed that day went down to 23kmh for 80km (55miles) and I made it to the Place du Trocadero (Eiffel Tower) in 3h30. Surprisingly the traffic was pretty light in Paris (arrived around 1.30pm) and except the ridiculous amount of pavés all over the place, the ride is quite easy in the city of love.

Once I arrived at the Trocadero I was very happy and proud. What an achievement! I did it! Despite an awful first day where I nearly get in a train back to London, I accomplished my project I’ve been working on for the last 4 months, raising $760 for the LiveSTRONG foundation! So proud, so happy! I’ve also been super touché by all the support as well from my girlfriend, my mum, friends, colleagues and anonymous people! It was also very nice to share this moment of joy and glory with my close friends on monday night in Paris, it was so good to see you all and I promised I’ll come more often to Paris, and on Eurostar! Great Success!

THANKS.
I hope this blog will inspire you to achieve a similar project, you’ll feel very good after such a thing, trust me.

TIPS
– Don’t do it alone as I did, it’ll be more fun with friends.
– Get some training.
– Know your route.
– If you’re having a side bag, get one with clipping hooks. Mine hadn’t and I lost it several times, including on the pavés in Paris.
– Keep yourself determined as if you’re encoutering all the troubles you’ve never imagined, arriving in Paris will be a relieve.
– You’ll enjoy the ride more on the French side than the British one, the road is on a way better state.
– Don’t get an early way back Eurostar to London as I did (7am tuesday), as I’m writing this right now and I’m knackered.

london to paris cycle ride

London To Paris – Day 2 Dieppe to Beauvais: The Ballad

After a dramatic first day, I didn’t know what to expect for the second day of the challenge. I mean I was a bit worried to get “couple” of punctures again, and it wouldn’t have been easiest to deal with it on the French side, for two reasons. First, on sunday everything is closed in France, so if you’ve got any trouble or if you need anything, it’s becoming a mission. In another hand I was also worried to have other technical issues in the deep countryside, and I knew the weakness of the transportation network in this part of the country. Double risk then, but I assume it’s part of the “adventure”…

Anyway, had a solid 5h sleep in Dieppe as well as a good breakfast, 12pm Sunday I was ready to go. As planned I quickly joined the Avenue Verte and rode it for almost 40km (30miles). Honestly this part of the route is brilliant. This a brand new tarmac path dedicated only for bikes, pedestrians and inlines (yeah I saw couple of them). Around 2.5m wide, the path is very soft to ride following a former train route. It’s brilliant and I highly recommend it. Be aware it’s not so flat though. Weather was alright, a bit of rain and grey and the beginning to finish with the sun in Beauvais. The rest of the route was alright too, traffic was light of cars and trucks as it was sunday.

120km after I arrived in my hotel in the South of Beauvais without any technical problem! So stoked and I was feeling way more confident. It took me 4h30 on the bike (5h total with the breaks) with a decent 26kmh average speed! Quite decent regarding my heavy package!

Finally this second day was good, it went as it should have and it was very nice.

london to paris cycle ride

London to paris cycle ride

London to paris cycle ride

London To Paris – Day 1: The Nightmare

On the whole trip the 1st day was the scariest for me, it was a time trial to catch my ferry leaving Newhaven at 10am. Having done the route once to make sure I won’t have any trouble, I was ready.

So last saturday I left my flat in London at 4 am in order to arrive in Newhaven before 9am if no trouble, taking a little margin just in case.

London is very dark at 4am, I was expecting much more light, and sometimes the road was not visible. First fail was the lost of my side bag in Brixton because of all the bumps and holes. Yeah the road is shit down there. Fortunately I realised quickly and nothing was damaged. It happend 3 more times too. Luckily my iPad which was in that bag didn’t get anything!

It’s raining by the way. Anyway I’m riding well, good speed, good pace, motivated. 5am first puncture. Alright, I keep my calm and I change the tube (despite a shit visibility); less than 10 min and I’m back on the road.

Still on time I eat the miles and I’m wet. 8 miles before Lewes (13 miles before Newhaven) I notice that I’m losing pressure on the rear tyre. I stopped third times to pump it up but it’s still the same thing so I realised that this is definitely another puncture. It’s around 8am, so I’m still on time. I had 2 brand new tubes with me and I already used one. So i set up my last tube, refix the wheel and I start to pump it. The valve of the tube breaks. Yep. Destroyed, I can’t pump it. I’m panicking now, it’s 8.20am. I tried to find the hole on the former tube to fix it but I didn’t find it. I’m fucked. I am less than 4 miles to Lewes where I could obviously catch a 10 min train to Newhaven and catch my ferry. I check my phone and there is a train station not so far, Cooksbridge. Hope.

I ran with my bike and a flat tyre and arrived at the station around 8.45am. Still doable. However there is no one and no information. Anyway I believe I’ll get a train. 2 passed by me and didn’t stop. It’s 9.22am I won’t get my ferry.

I’m wet, freezin and stucked in the countryside. Finally front the staton I noticed a bus stop and as if I’ve got a bike it’s worth trying. The bus came and the driver understanding the unlucky situation let me in. It’s small bus and people are friendly and they explain me where to buy tubes in Lewes.
I’m in Lewes bike shop at 10.05am. I had a chat with the bike shop guys and they realised how unlucky I’ve been.

I don’t know what to do, I’m tired, I’m wet, I’m freezin and it’s still raining. And I don’t have a lock thinking I won’t need one so I can’t wait inside somewhere.
Next ferry is in 13h at 11pm.

Obviously I’ve got a fantastic girlfriend to get me up as honestly I was very down. So deceived! She get in a train from London to Lewes to spend the afternoon with me, bringing me a lock, dry clothes and motivation. We were very bored in Lewes though, this place is sad.

9pm she’s on a train back to London and I’m off to Newhaven and made it to the ferry.

I’m knackered, it was shitty day and It wasn’t really what I planned. Before boarding the ferry, as they asked us the cyclists to wait outside in the cold for an hour, I’m meeting those 2 guys from Lake District. Time went faster having a laugh. Once in the ferry I fall asleep quickly, the seats are very comfortable. They just checked my ID and didn’t ask for my ticket. Curious.

4am we arrived in Dieppe, a 10 min ride to go to my hotel Where i was expecting to sleep more, but at 4.30 I’m in my bed.

What a day. A shitty day. I was very very deceived to miss my ferry because of technical issues as I was feeling good. I’m stressed for day 2 as well, I mean what’s going to happen if I’ve got troubles in the French countryside where everything’s closed on Sunday?!

london to paris cycle ride

Le Grand Départ…

Here we are… Tomorrow is the big day. It’s the beginning of this challenge I’ve been working  for the last 4 months.

I feel quite confident but a bit stressed. I assume it’s normal, riding 300km on a bike, alone and probably under the rain (yes the weather forecast doesn’t look good) without assistance is a good challenge; but definitely reachable.

Kick-off tomorrow morning at 4am then as I’ve got to catch the ferry in Newhaven at 9am (leaving at 10am) for what’s going to be probably the hardest day of the trip as this is a kind of Time Trial. I plan to arrive in Paris in the afternoon on monday. And I can’t wait to catch up with all my friends there as well, it’s going to be great!

I will try to keep you updated along the trip via twitter @riding2paris and I’ll report on this blog every day of trip next week.

I’m still raising money for LiveSTRONG (already $750 raised) but I’m aiming to raise more, so please feel free to donate here whatever you want, helping people hit by cancer is a good cause. THANK YOU.

london 2 paris cycle ride

Energy Food

Last week I bought £30 of energy food for my trip and just get delivered this morning! It’s probably very chemical but apparently, according to my colleagues, it’s necessary and effective.

I get myself some PowerBar gels (apparently the effect is outstanding…), Torq powder to mix water and my favourite energy bars from CLIF bars. Well at least I won’t die from a lack of sugar on the road…

Also I brought my bike to the workshop at Look Mum No Hands this morning in order to avoid any mechanical incident next weekend. It’s really happening!!

london to paris cycle ride

The Route – Part 3

So the third and last day of my challenge will normally occur on monday, between Beauvais and Paris. The route is supposed to be less than 90km (56 miles) and I plan to arrive at the Esplanade du Trocadero front of the Eiffel Tower, hopefully at the beginning of the afternoon.

Starting from the south of Beauvais to Paris via Méru, Ablainville, Vallangoujard, Auvers sur Oise, Taverny, Quai de St Ouen, Clichy, Bld des Batignolles, Place de l’étoile, Trocadero.

As you can see I’m not going through the Champs Elysées as if I’m passing by (Place de l’étoile) just because it will make me a massive tourist. I mean come on I’m already arriving at the Eiffel Tower!!

The first half part of the route should be alright as I’m going through departementale roads between the woods and the fields, however the second part of it from Auvers sur Oise, I’m expecting it to be very high traffic. I’ll need to be cautious knowing how the Parisians can drive. Tomorrow I’m dropping my bike at the workshop of Look Mum No Hands to have a check-up before departure, it will be actually creepy to have a mechanic trouble. And mechanics are not my favourite stuff, that’s why I was riding a fixed gear bike before!!

Can’t wait to start my trip, and I can’t already wait to be Paris to gather with my friends too!

london to paris cycle ride

The Route – Part 2

I’ve planned the route for the second day of my challenge which would be on Sunday. This probably going to be the most enjoyable ride of the trip. First it will be Sunday so the traffic will be very light, secondly I’m going to have the whole day to ride 70 miles which is going to be a slice of cake compare to day 1 Time-Trial to Newhaven, and finally the road looks pretty nice.

Day 2 I’m cycling from Dieppe to Beauvais via the Avenue Verte, Forge-les-eaux, Gourmay-en-Bray, Villambray, Savignies.

From Dieppe I’m starting straightaway on the Avenue Verte for almost 30 miles to Forge Les Eaux. The Avenue Verte is a brand new large bike and pedestrian path along a former rail route. It’s all going to be very green and nice, this is definitely going to be the most enjoyable part of the trip! For the little story, The Avenue Verte was first built to link London to Paris to offer a bike path between the 2 cities. Obviously the route is not over, and on the British side is not so good as it’s still a trail more than a bike path. For the mapping between Dieppe and Forge les Eaux via the Avenue Verte I’m using this dude guide. Pretty well done.

Day 2 should be nice then, the route looks easy and not hard, I shouldn’t get lost. Just need to find my hotel in Beauvais, but thanks God, now we’ve got Google Street View so I managed to point it out.

6 days before the big day!!

London to Paris cycle ride

Training Week #8

I rode a bit more than 70miles this weekend, split between saturday (75km) and Sunday (35km with an average speed of 29kmh). I felt very good. There is less than 2 weeks now before the start of my challenge.

Next weekend I plan to go riding again of course, but also to keep my eyes on the route (French side) that I haven’t really study yet. I feel stressed but confident, the first day will be the most stressful and hard as this a proper time trial of 70miles as I need to catch my ferry on time.

Stay strong!

london to paris bike ride map