Avenue Verte, June 2014

If anyone saw my blog last week, a cycle ride from the London Eye to Notre Dame was my most recent adventure and as with everything I seem to do, it wasn’t dull – lots of ups and downs along the way.

Our ‘Grand Depart’ rendezvous point was the London Eye on the south bank of the River Thames and with the threat of the ‘worst storms in 170 years’ looming over us, we set off from this point on Saturday morning. Spirits were high, wet weather gear was on, the heaven’s opened and even so, I was very excited about what lay ahead of us.

The outline of the plan we were following is below, and we travelled along a variety of cycle paths: tarmac, gravel, wooded trail, mud, deep mud, un-passable mud (ie we had to carry our bikes up onto the bank, walk around the said mud and jump down the other side !!)

Day #1 : Saturday – London Eye to Forest Row, West Sussex (approx. 50 miles)

Day #2 : Sunday – Forest Row, West Sussex to Newhaven, East Sussex (approx. 50 miles)

Day #3 : Monday – Ferry crossing to Dieppe, cycled to Forges Les Eaux (approx. 40 miles)

Day #4 : Tuesday – Forges Les Eaux to Conflans St Honorine (approx. 85 miles)

Day #5 : Wednesday – Conflans St Honorine to Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris (approx. 45 miles)

The route
The route

As you can see by some of the mileage and the types of terrain we were facing, the days were long ! And given that we were on ‘holiday’ we did manage a few stops for coffee, lunch and afternoon tea so don’t feel too sorry for me. 8-9pm was a standard arrival time at our next hotel each day and waiting for us was our luggage and a welcome wine / beer depending on your preference.

The weather was generally very good. Except for the initial ride from the Eye, a huge thunder-storm about 6 miles from our hotel on the 3rd day and a little drizzle on the morning of the 4th day, we had sunshine, very little wind and warm conditions – very very fortunate !

Here are some of the photos I took from my go-pro helmet camera…..

Rain before we even start !
Rain before we even start !
A bicycle made for two - extra points for doing the trip on a tandem I think !
A bicycle made for two – extra points for doing the trip on a tandem I think !
Bike 'storage' on the ferry !
Bike ‘storage’ on the ferry !
We did manage to have afternoon tea or 2 or 3 !
We did manage to have afternoon tea or 2 or 3 !
And saw some lovely French countryside
And saw some lovely French countryside
And the occasional chateux
And the occasional châteaux
Outskirts of Paris
Outskirts of Paris
Cycling in the midst of Paris pedestrian area
Cycling in the midst of Paris pedestrian area

And here was the finish line………. what a beautiful sight !

The finish line !
The finish line !

So we did it :). 16 cyclists made it (we started with 18, but that’s a whole other story!), we were sore, elated, emotional but most of all ready to put our bikes onto the courier van and not see them for a while.

Team shot !
Team shot !

I have to admit to a few tears once I arrived. The experience through Paris was not fun for me and that together with being very tired, meant I was so relieved to see the finish line it overwhelmed me a little.

Do it again ? Of course ! There is another way into Paris you know – we chose the west route. There’s the east side still to explore !

East next time ?
East next time ?

What’s next ? We will see !

Live life loud

Catherine

Age Group girl

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s