Au Revoir, Bonne chance à tous les cyclistes…
This coming Thursday we will say Au Revoir and Bonne Chance to our 120 cyclists taking on their very own Tour De France. With support from the Dream Challenges team the challenge will take them through the rolling English countryside and the vast agricultural landscapes of Northern France to the finish line at the Eiffel Tower, in the heart of the spectacular city of Paris.
The challenge is to cycle 237 miles in just three days. The ride has cyclists of all abilities taking part, some participating for the love of cycling, some for a new challenge and others for a great fundraising cause. We even have four cyclists coming over from Belgium and five from America. We can promise you one thing they will all have in common by the end of the ride - and no not a sore derriere - it will be the sheer exhilaration they will all feel when cycling through the Champs-Elysee and their first spot of the Eiffel Tower in front of them.
To celebrate the ride here is a little insight into what to expect.
The tour itself…
On day one we will all travel from London to Caen. This is approximately 77 miles cycling. Starting early to avoid the London traffic it won’t be long before we are cycling through stunning English countryside in the hilly North Downs. We will have lunch near the town of Haslemere before tackling the hills of the South Downs. On reaching Portsmouth we will enjoy dinner and a refresh at a local hotel before boarding the overnight sleeper ferry to Caen.
Friday will see the cyclists tackle 85 miles from Caen to Evreux approximately. Following a hearty breakfast on the ferry and docking in Caen it is then back in the saddle for a stunning day of cycling – remembering of course to cycle on the right! Leaving Caen behind us we cycle towards Rouen where we encounter rolling French hills. We soon reach our lunch stop just north of Liseux. After lunch we have a fairly flat ride all the way into the town of Evreux where we stop overnight.
The final day will arrive before we know it, taking the cyclists from Evreux to Paris approximately 75 miles cycling. Leaving Evreux we cycle through charming, yet sleepy, traditional French towns until we reach our lunch stop near Septeuil. From there it is one last push towards the finish line. On reaching Paris we will re-group and cycle up the Champs-Elysee, around the Arc de Triomphe towards our finish line at the Eiffel Tower. In the evening we will enjoy a celebration dinner together.
As we said earlier we have a whole array of cyclists taking part. Some from overseas, some keen cyclists who are self-funding and others who are doing it to raise money for a charitable cause. Leading up to the event the closed Facebook group has been full of banter. They have been sharing training stories, kit updates but mainly the running theme has been about post cycling or mid cycling cake stops. However, underneath the fun for some people lies a serious reason as to why they are taking part. Here are a couple of these stories.
One of our participants Chris Read runs a small UK charity called A Smile for a Child. The charity helps disabled children and young people to progress in sport. This is done by buying sports equipment for them to use. It could be something small and simple to something large like a sports wheelchair. Whatever it is the charity wants to make a difference to that child’s life.
We spoke to Chris and here is what he said:
“My three colleagues and I are taking part in the London to Paris bike ride with Dream Challenges to fundraise for children like Esmie. Esmie was born prematurely and has damage to both kidneys, she was resuscitated three times but amazingly she survived.
Now two years old and all things considering Esmie is doing really well, however, to help with her mobility Esmie needs special equipment. In and out of hospital, Esmie needs more help to do the things other children take for granted. Our aim is fundraise to get Esmie the specialist equipment required to help her enjoy her life to the full and participate in activities with the other children around her.”
We also have a team of six from KLH Architects, based in Copdock taking on the ride. Ben Moore, Tom Bryce, Andy Garnham, Bryan Wybrow and company directors, Martyn Goodwin and Robert Keeble are hoping to raise £2000 for The Ipswich Hospital Charity, which was set up to raise funds to improve the level of care to patients.
Project architect, Bryan Wybrow, who has undertaken a demanding training programme involving cycling to and from his home in Felixstowe to work, said: “We’ve been in training for six months now, it’s a great team to be part of; really supportive of one another, the cause and the company.”
Director Martyn Goodwin, admitted they were all “pretty nervous” about the challenge ahead of them. “The three days are definitely going to be a struggle but I’m confident that it will also be a fantastic and memorable experience for the team,” he said.
“The cause is a very personal one to KLH Architects; we’ve done a lot of work for Ipswich Hospital in past years and currently we’re designing the hospitals new Oncology Department. We hope that our three days of suffering will go a long way to providing much needed care.”
There are many more amazing stories from our participants and we look forward to sharing them with you in the coming weeks through the blog.
The most Amazing Experience…
We love looking through our past testimonials of the event and we just know that all of you taking part will truly love the challenge. Here are a couple of testimonials from past cyclists which we love:
“I did the London to Paris Bike Ride in 2011 and it really was the most amazing experience. The cycling is tough but the feeling you get when you cross the finish line at the Eiffel Tower is second to none! The celebration night in Paris was great fun too! Two years on and I am still boring all my friends and family with London to Paris stories!” Alan Davis London to Paris Participant 2011
“Everyone should experience the London to Paris Bike Ride! Over 200 miles of amazing cycling in beautiful English and French countryside! The organisation was first class and the support along the way was brilliant”. Sarah Thorne London to Paris Participant 2011
The Dream Challenges team want to wish our cake loving cyclist’s good luck and Bon Voyage. We look forward to greeting them at the Eifel Tower and celebrating their success. Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter as we update you of their progress during the three days they are away.
For those of you who feel inspired to take on a challenge there are still spaces available on our London to Paris 2016 ride. To find out more please visit: