London to Paris cycle: questions you might ask
If you're thinking of joining us for the London to Paris cycle, we know that you might have some questions. Here's some things we think you might want to know. If you have any questions that aren't covered here, get in touch with our events team on 0207 078 7912 or by emailing [email protected]
How fit do I need to be?
This trip is an endurance test and it is therefore essential that you put in the training for this challenge! It's important to make time to keep your fitness levels up and remember that while any exercise helps, the best form of preparation is to get cycling up and down hills, for good periods of time.
Wherever possible, try to follow up a good day’s cycling with another ride the next day. You will enjoy the challenge far more if you have a good level of fitness! This ride is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance.
For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the others.
What will the cycling be like?
The cycling is mainly on small country roads. You should make sure you are fit enough to manage the distances, and have plenty of experience on rolling hills and descents. The first day is particularly strenuous with some steep climbs.
Traffic is light on most of the roads but when we pass through large towns we may go through as a group. This is not a ride which any cyclist should attempt without specific training and confidence cycling on roads with traffic.
How will I know the route and what happens if I get lost?
You'll be provided with a link to a detailed Google map before the trip. You'll also have a printed map provided for the trip and the route will be marked. You will have contact telephone numbers for the crew in the rare case you go off route and get lost. We advise that you buddy up and try to cycle together in small groups. The crew will be in vehicles driving amongst the group and there will always be a vehicle at the back.
How busy are the roads that we cycle on?
We ride mainly on small country roads, but there are busier sections. In Paris, there are cycle paths on many of the roads we use. You should be used to cycling in some traffic, as you will feel more confident. French drivers are generally far more considerate to cyclists than here in the UK.
What type of bike is most appropriate for this cycle?
Road bikes are the most suitable on this trip and it is imperative that you train on the bike that you intend to use. You need to be comfortable on your own bike and well accustomed to it.
What if I have a problem with my bike?
There will always be crew on your trip who are very handy mechanics, and a range of spares in the vehicle (please note the spares are chargeable) along with a full tool kit. There are also good bike shops en-route if need be. We can usually deal with most problems that come up.
It is vital that your bike is in good order before departure. If you’re not sure, ask a bike shop to service it for you. The crew are there to help with unforeseen incidents affecting your bike, not to sort out general wear and tear. If you turn up with a bike which needs attention straightaway you may end up missing some of the ride, which is obviously not how you want to start your challenge
What about cycle safety?
We know that not everyone chooses to wear a cycling helmet all of the time, but would like to point out that on this ride it is obligatory. Please do bring a helmet with you and have it fastened at all times whilst you are cycling. We also strongly recommend wearing a high visibility cycling top, and having lights on your bike.
Wearing a hi-vis jacket with reflective strips in bad visibility is compulsory for cyclists in France and the jacket must be fully certified to BS EN471 Class 2 standard (with the correct certified label). Police are likely to stop you and issue a fine if you fail to do so.
You are encouraged to cycle at a pace that you are comfortable with throughout the trip. It is always safer and good for company as well to cycle in small groups with others of a similar pace to you. There is usually always someone else cycling at a similar speed!
What is the accommodation like?
We usually pick hotels for their proximity to our route; they are generally 2-3* standard, and slightly out of town. They are usually quite large hotels to accommodate group size; for very large groups we may have to split into different hotels. Standards may vary slightly but they are all generally good – though not luxurious as that’s not our style! Rooms are usually twin-share and have en-suite facilities. Be prepared for variety! If you are travelling alone, you will be paired up with someone of the same sex and similar age.
Who is the trip run by?
The cycle is organised by Discover Adventure, who will organise the logistics and support during the event. We have carefully chosen to work with them as they are specialists in charity cycle challenges. Safety is their biggest priority, all trips are scouted out prior to being delivered, thoroughly risk assessed and contingency plans put in place for all eventualities. Discover Adventure are known for their professionalism, friendly, flexible and safe approach. They are ATOL, AITO and ABTA protected.
Beforehand you will primarily hear from the BLF who will be on hand to support you with your fundraising, helping you to reach and surpass your fundraising target.
Once you're signed up, you'll get even more information about how the ride will work.