Kent to Paris by Bicycle
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I’ve just signed up to a last minute charity ride in support of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
There’s a group of us spending the long weekend cycling from Kent to Paris 🥐.
It’s a ~250 mile cycle over three days, and I’ve just checked the weather, it’s looking very interesting ⛈️ …
Feel free to support me on my JustGiving page.
The End Result
Overall the team raised more than £13,000.
Thanks to the FT for matching my fundraising, who will bump up that total to £700.
Thanks also to Rob and Anneke for all the planning that went into the ride.
It also wouldn’t have been possible without the support from Anneke’s parents and her old school PE teacher and his wife, who kept us fed and watered throughout the journey.
The Live Updates
Saturday Morning — Kent to Folkestone
~8am, it’s Saturday morning and I’m in Kent, mostly ready to go.
There are 13 riders in total, and 14 bikes just in case.
First up is a ride to the tunnel, should take us a handful of hours. From there we pack everything in a van and cross the channel.
~10:30am, we made it to Tesco in Folkestone, time for some pain au chocolate!
Saturday Afternoon — Calais to Somewhere on the Coast of France
~1:00pm, just queuing for the train. So far the weather has been absolutely amazing 🌤️.
~3:00pm local time, and we’re out the other side. Hello France 🇫🇷! Time for a 67km ride to our destination.
It’s ~5:30pm French time and we’re doing a quick water run in a nice town called La Capelle-lès-Boulogne. 20km down, quite a chunk to go! Looking forward to a nice cold beer at the end of todays ride 🍺.
6:20pm, we’ve just been through the wonderful Boulogne Forest. A couple of nice climbs and beautiful scenery 🌲, 36km down for this second leg.
7:45pm, it was a cracking flat 10km ride down to Le Touquet on the French coast.
That wraps up the day, with 116km sent 🚴. Great weather all day, and an awesome hotel to finish.
Sunday Morning — Le Touquet to Château de Rambures 🏰
Aiming for a 7:30am start today. Weather isn’t looking quite as good as yesterday, sunny start converting to thunderstorms in the afternoon…
There’s 150km to get through today, a bit more than yesterday. Google’s saying it should be about 8h on the saddle 🤣.
8:05am, almost ready to set off 😁.
~9:30am, quick stop for the first puncture of the trip. Gravel on a roundabout. We’re making amazing progress, sticking together as a group with some amazing pace, eating up the kilometers 🛣️.
11:10am, second pit stop before lunch. Breaking out the suncream and polo mints. 98km left for today, about 60km in.
11:11am, second puncture of the day, with a spontaneous release of air from Jackob’s front tire 💥, might be getting to hot for the tires?
11:44pm, we’re down a couple of riders, waiting to group up. Lunch just an arm’s reach away!
~1:00pm, time for lunch in the village square. 84km done for this first leg. Lot’s of 2nd and 3rd helpings, some muscle rolling, joint clicking, and stretching too. Water stop 34km from here.
Sunday Afternoon — Château de Rambures to Beauvais
1:45pm, and we’re just about to set off.
2:15pm, one bike making a clicking noise, so it’s a quick post lunch stop ✋.
2:50pm, pitstop at the top of a hulk of a hill. Everyones finding their new limits, making so much progress up hills today. We’re just next to a dilapidated farm, geese roaming free.
3:55pm, almost at the water stop, solid riding for the whole hour. 25°C, and no sign of that thunderstorm… 🌄.
5:05pm, another stop, top of a hill overlooking another amazing forest 🌲. About 20km till today finish.
5:40pm, water stop in a little French town called Troissereux 🗺️. 10km-ish left.
6:30pm and we’ve made it to Hotel Kyriad, that last 10km was an effort, lots of hills and lots of stops. Chris had a near miss with a car, looking forward to a few more of those in Paris 🤣. The Garmin navigation is questionable, some of the group ended up on a motorway, so we’ll be switching to Google tomorrow!
10:30pm about to pass out.
Monday Morning — Beauvais to the Eiffel Tower 🏁
6:50am and we’re up. Discussing the merits of chamois and the Daily Mail’s high quality reporting on a suncream pill.
7:20am, finishing up breakfast and it’s looking like we’ll manage to dodge all the bad weather. Few thunderstorms yesterday evening while we were eating.
8:10am, final preparations before the final leg. Hayfever tablets all round. Lots of water filling, lots of tinkering. Can’t wait to see what Paris is all about 🗼.
8:25am, still tinkering, Chris and I questioning our relationship while we wait to start.
9:15am, set off a while back. Just recovering at the top of today’s big climb. A 9% gradient according to Anneke, not sure that’s entirely true 😬.
10:00am, first stop for nature in Amblainville. Sticking together more and more, 25km seen off with a good effort from everyone.
10:30am, about 1km from today’s half way point. Lovely views of and rolling hills and powerlines 🔌.
10:53am, pitstop in Auvers-sur-Oise. There’s mention of Vincent van Gogh being here. 42km down, not far left now. However there’s an increasing number of traffic lights 🚦.
11:02am, just found a bakery! Vanhauwe Franck, we’re all stopping for a croissant 🥐.
11:19am, I think we might be calling it a day here. Everyone seems very settled.
11:55am, just passed through Taverny, nature calls. All that water consumption seems to be working 😂. Chris has suggested getting an expresso ☕. There’s also a virtual reality shop opposite, might be a while yet.
1:50pm, made it 🇫🇷 🏁.
Monday Afternoon — Paris 🥐
6:16pm, celebrations done. Picnic lunch at the Champ de Mars. We’re just heading out for dinner and drinks 🍻.
00:02am, in a jazz bar called Sunset-Sunside, in the middle of Paris 🤷.