Lets start with some basic facts
- Distance from London to Paris: 300 miles
- Days to get to Paris: 3 days
- Number of riders: 140 riders
- Longest training ride: 90km
- Mission: To get to Paris with all bones and ligaments intact
Harry’s blog about London to Paris inspired me to try a different style to give you a flavour of the trip
Day 1 Part 1:
Allez Wiggo team photoshoot, start in a Team Thomas, get splintered, follow wrong arrows, get lost, cycle to first feed station alone, concern I will cycle solo to Paris, slow down on a hill to allow a car to pass but loose momentum, walk up hill, eventually get to first feed station, sign sheet, eat fig netwons, mechanic looks at bike, join a group, eat up the kms, see feed station sign, eat lots of lunch, get back on the bike, feel on the rivet, see the sea, arrows point up a cheeky hill, descend into Dover, ferries delayed, Costa Coffee shut, wait, queue in the car lanes, Costa Coffee open, drink coffee, cycle onto ferry, get worried about bike getting damaged, eat dinner
Day 1 Part 2:
arrive in France, check bike intact, ride off ferry into dark, drunks in nightclub, turn bike lights on, motor paced peleton, shelter for max drag, see hotel, arrive around 11pm, round of applause, take bike to hotel room, roommate asleep in single bed leaving me massive double bed (thanks Nicola), disjointed sleep
breakfast, join Team Wiggo, leave hotel, almost go around roundabout twice, find right exit, rolling start to day, smooth tarmac, great visibility, “Hell yeah”, find beautiful lunch stop in square, tempting to sit and drink beer in the sun, eat too much lunch, feel sleepy, each pedal stroke takes an hour, want to get off bike, throw bike into corn fields, curl up and sleep, learn to decend on the drops, see feed station sign, 1 lap of Richmond Park until feed station, get to feed station, eat food, get back on bike, ride up hill, joke with Anna “give us a push”, accelerate rapidly (thanks Anna), just keep pedalling, just keep pedalling, see signs for Amiens, spend an eternity cycling though Amiens, see finish signs, cycle to Hotel.
search for bike, walk to other hotel, find bike, start cycling, feel like Tony is guiding me to Paris, start a climb, whoa we are at the top, turn a corner, poo road goes up, carry on climbing, flattens out, stop for a natural break, encounter aggressive driver, get going again, road goes up again, climb again, stop for lunch in beautiful forest, eat too much, find a convenient bush, collective groan as we get back on the bikes, eat up the km in a well drilled peloton (thanks V), car stops on roundabout to let us through even though his right of way, legs either want to coast or sprint, sprint between traffic lights, encounter a crazy Parisian roundabout, look up, see Eiffel Tower, cycle to finish line, recieve a round of applause, shakily manage to give Rachael a high-5, get off bike, take cliche picture, collapse on the ground, hand over bike, “so-long bike”, shower, celebratory dinner, drink amazing champagne, bed
Walk across Paris, hand signal pot-holes whilst walking, coffee stop, get a blister, go to the Team Sky fanzone, wear Allez Wiggo t-shirt, drink champagne, make friends with guy watching race on phone, attempt to listen to french commentary, assume Cav won, cheer, wait as the phone buffers, see Cav win, cheer, Wiggins winner, get sunburnt, go out for steak and chips, try snails, pulsating feet, collapse into bed, leave hotel back for England as others are just rolling in.
I don’t think that it has all sinked in, much thanks to the mechanics, the support crew so that all I had to think about was handing over my bag, get on my bike and pedal.