London to Paris Cycle, July 2016 – Day 1
The team met on Blackheath Common at 7am, ready to begin their ride. There was a slight chill in the air but the weather forecast was predicting sunshine and blue skies. After a brief from Danny, Tom and Ben, the group did some last minute faffing before getting underway.
A last minute team photo, then they were off. Annie, Lisa, Dave, Jeanie, Karl, Kim, Rob, Josh, Brittney, Stuart, Louis, Ros, Lucy, Lizzie, Nathalie, Annalisa and Lorna took to the streets of London to begin their journey to Paris.
The first climb of the day was just around the corner – Shooter’s Hill. With fresh legs, the team flew up it and were heading towards Dartford. We all got to see for the first time how much speed a tandem can get on the other side as Jeanie and Brittney whizzed down!
Stuart and Louis’ family had come to join us at lunch in Faversham in the sun. The team had cycled 42 miles and had worked up quite the appetite!
After lunch we got our first puncture of the day as we entered the Kent countryside. Ben assisted Rob in getting a new inner tube back in the tyre and they were on their way in no time.
A few more bumps later and the team faced their final hill of the day. It’s a slow and steady ascent from Denton and ends with a left turn to a small grassy area and a pond. Here the team regrouped in preparation for the final few miles into Dover. But not before a fantastic descent…
The team had made it to Dover, arriving in excellent time for the ferry. We grabbed our passports and made our way to passport control. They must have thought we looked dodgy because we were motioned into customs for a more thorough check than usual.
The customs officer x-ray’d five of the groups’ bags and let us through. Unfortunately our ferry had been delayed so we took cover from the showers in the coffee hall for an hour before being called onto the boat for our crossing to France.
Once we’d arrived into Calais, the group then cycled another four miles to our hotel – day one was complete and we were in France!