London to Paris Cycle, July 2016 – Day 4
It was the final day of the trip and the team had 52 miles to cycle from Compiegne to Paris. The previous evening’s all-you-can-eat had given them the fuel needed for the last ride of the trip, and luckily neither Lorna or Jeanie had been injured running up and down grassy banks on the way home.
We met outside of the hotel for a ride briefing as Danny explained where the lumps, bumps and planned breaks were throughout the day.
The ride began with a flat section alongside the River Oise, the cycle lane providing an excellent warm up for the first climb of the day – Windy Climb. This climb begins in Verberie and, as the name suggests, winds up through the trees, topping out next to wide open fields and a large layby. It was clear that a few members of the team had now caught the Strava bug, so were pitting themselves against every segment going! The first to arrive at the top were Ben and Josh, who’d pushed themselves hard up the climb.
The rest of the team began to join them at the top, many of them commented how easy they found it!
From here, the route opened up, with beautiful tree-lined roads with some fantastic flat sections. Kim and Lizzie took the opportunity to take some photos!
The team were really working together well, taking it in turns up at the front of their cycling pods as they passed through open farmland.
Karl and Jeanie even found time to have a hug!
The team were flying along and had soon reached the lunch spot in the village of Fontenay-en-Parisis.
Just as the group were leaving lunch, Lucy realised that she may have been riding with her rear brake on! For how long was uncertain, but the callipers were definitely in need of some TLC. A spray of GT85 and a little adjustment of the tension screws and the brakes were good as new.
The group were soon on the outskirts of Paris and entering Saint Denis. The previous few days of cycling through open countryside had come to an end, and soon the team were faced with seemingly endless sets of traffic lights as they made their way in the city then alongside the river.
As the team turned off the river, Danny pulled them over to discuss the next challenge – The Arc De Triomphe! This iconic roundabout is a real highlight of the trip, especially as only days before, the Tour De France riders had ridden along the very same cobbles. It really is a thrill to cycle over but there is a definite feeling of relief on reaching the other side!
The team caught their first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower as they crossed the Seine. Moments later they were rolling up onto the dusty patch in front of the infamous landmark.
They’d made it!!!! Over four days, the team had cycled 275 miles from London, through Kent, got the ferry over to Calais, then cycled for a further three days through Northern France to the beautiful city of Paris.
Some friends of Lorna and Annalise, had come to congratulate them. Rob, Josh and Kim’s family were also there to celebrate their fantastic achievement.
There were plenty of hugs…
And plenty of photos in front of one of the most famous monuments in the world.
Danny and Ben helped Jeanie and Brittney lift their tandem over their heads – it really did weigh a ton – how they managed to get up the hills is anyone’s guess!
Then came out the bubbly! Some people used glasses to drink it…
Dave called home to spread the news!
Then Ben got hold of a bottle of bubbly…showering everyone with fizz.
Father and son team Stuart and Louis had made the journey from London together, and was perhaps the beginning of many adventures together.
All that was left to do was take one last photo as a team, before jumping back on their bikes for the ride to the hotel.
A massive congratulations to everyone in the team, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and hope to see you again soon!
A special mention is required for the cocktail/ice cream bar found by Nathalie!!!