Home > London to Paris > London to Paris: Day One – Wee-Boy is born!!!

London to Paris: Day One – Wee-Boy is born!!!

Details from Tony’s Garmin for Day One – here.

The following morning we headed down for an early breakfast intending to get ourselves sorted out and ready without having to rush.

We had a fairly light breakfast – scrambled eggs, toast, yoghurt & fruit. We were joined on our table by two other cyclists, Becca and Michelle, reassuringly they had similar nervous energy as we did!

Setting off on the 3rd June from Blackheath, London, with another 119 riders, Tony and I started our ride to Paris.

The first morning was a little chilly but after a reasonable breakfast in the Claredon Hotel we made our way out of London. This was one of the less enjoyable parts of the ride due to the constant stop-starting at traffic lights and the occasional motorcyclist cutting us up.

Still, we were soon enough out of the City and onto some quieter roads. The first challenging hill came just before the first water stop after approximatly 20 miles, it was not particularly steep by went on for a while, in it’s favour though it was a quiet, tree-lined road leading up to some nice cottages and houses.

The rest of the route was pleasant with roads cutting through small villages etc. There was one pretty large and nasty round about to navigate – heart-in-mouth moment having pushed, trying to get cleats into pedals before the next car or lorry came thundering round toward us!!

Somewhere around the North Downs, near Maidstone, were several climbs. The first few came as a bit of a challenge – harder than anything else so far but fairly short. These were just a taster of what was in store!

I think it was just before the lunch stop, around 33 miles into ride, that we hit a climb which was gentle at first but then went crazy! It was certainyl eyeballs out as we struggled to keep moving. You could see everyone flicking through the gears until they hit the smallest ring and then the look of dread!

Some people stopped and pushed their bikes up but to their credit they were offering encouragement to those who carried on with veins bulging and vision blurring. I can remember as I got near the top I was gasping for air and my vision was slowly narrowing – well pleased to have made it to the top though. 🙂

At the top the road levelled out and we slowly regained our strength as we pushed on to the lunch stop.

After some serious consumption of drinks, cereal bars and jelly babies we set off again. On to Dover!!

I think we all made it into Dover okay with riders being split into two groups according to route. Once we had given details to the DA guys we rolled off to the ferry port where we stood for ages in the cold waiting for our time to board.

We heard later that a few riders had to be picked up by one of the mini buses in order to make a later ferry – well done for not getting put off at the point!

Ferry crossing was reasonable, we met some other riders and a drink and something to eat in the restaurant.

One piece of advice when using the toilet’s on a ferry – make sure the only thing to touch the floor is your shoes – enough said about that!!

So, we landed in Calais, cycled around for a bit and were then split into groups according to which hotel we were staying in. Typically, Tony and I were in the group staying in the hotel furthest away!

After arriving at the hotel, we parked the bikes up and collected our bags and headed off to fidn our room. Would say it was nice – I think after the first day any room with a bath and a bed would seem nice!!

Washed out bib shorts and shirts, got cleaned up and then headed down for a drink before dinner.

Had a fairly quiet evening, chatting with others in the bar before going back to the room for a deserved rest.


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