One of you has asked me to organise this ride and me being me I could not say no. For logistical reasons we will leave on a Sunday and return on a Monday (Please note you will need to take Monday off work). To figure out the demands of this ride put it this way: you'll be doing a London to Brighton followed by (with hardly any sleep) a Dunwich Dynamo. Mood swings on the second day have been known to happen!
You have to be a strong cyclist as this is a challenge ride. You will only be able to join us on this ride if you have cycled at least a 70 mile ride with us before and you have been able to keep up with our pace.You will also have to agree to wearing a helmet. Failing these requirements you won't be able to tag along.
THE ROUTE: London-New Haven the first day. It's bout 70 miles along rolling countryside. Think London to Brighton or London to Eastbourne. It's along those lines (or those hills!). From Dieppe to Paris I mapped a 116 miles route with a max gradient of 8% and a total ascent of 5450ft. First 30 miles are along the Avenue Verte. If you have cycled along it before you may not be too thrilled. Some people find it boring the second time (it's a traffic free cycle path, which is part of the official London to Paris route). I cycled it a few years back and am happy to do it again so that first timers can try it. The experience of cycling in the middle of the night, with cool breeze, only nature's sounds, along French countryside and in a traffic-free path is one that I highly recommend. Be warned: bring snacks as we won't find a boulangerie until at least 7 am!
Please note that we cycle day 1; take a ferry; start cycling on day 2 straight from the ferry. This means poor sleep and an already tired body to face your second day 116 miles. Don't overestimate your fitness and endurance. You will be cycling 190 miles in two days with hardly any sleep. Please only sign up if you are up for this challenge. This ride is unsupported so if you can't keep up you will have to make your own way to Paris.
THE PACE: As a requirement to join us is that you have cycled with us before you should know what to expect. We are not professionals but we have a steady pace at about 15mph average. Along flat sections we usually average 20mph. We don't stop often although on day 2 we may need extra stops to make up for exhaustion and sleep deprivation. This ride is a challenge, bear that in mind before booking.
BAILING OUT: We'll be on a very tight schedule. This means that if you are unable to follow the pace of the group or you feel too exhausted to continue, or if your bike breaks down (beyond a puncture/chain problem) you will have to bail out at your own cost.
TRANSPORT: We cross the channel by ferry, Newhaven-Dieppe. The crossing is at 10pm and we arrive in Dieppe at 4am. This means we will cycle a good 2 or 3 hours in the dark. Please note that we willl get little seep in the ferry as we are not booking berths. The reeturn journey will be via (bl**dy expensive) Eurostar Paris-London. We will arrive in London at about 10pm.
COSTS: The total cost for this trip is £140, blame Eurostar for most of those pounds. As Eurostar tickets increase by the week (if not the day) you will have to transfer the money within one week of being confirmed as an attendee via email. You will be able to do a bank transfer or a paypal payment. If you choose the later you will have to add £4 to the cost. ***Prices are right on 4/8/13. Subject to change if Eurostar price goes up.
REFUNDS: Please note that once you transfer the money to pay for the trip NO REFUNDS WILL BE AVAILABLE. That applies both if you drop out before the start date or if you bail out en route (out of your own decision or our request). If you need to cancel but find some one else to take up your place you will only be entitled to a 50% refund regardless of how much notice you give of the cancellation. The person that takes your place will have to comply with the requirements mentioned above (have previously ridden with us; been able to keep our pace and agree to wearing a helmet). By sending your payment you are agreeing to this policy.
HEALTH & SAFETY: Cycling is fun and safe but no sporting activity is risk-free. To minimise such risk when you take part in our rides you will be expected to ride safely, wearing a helmet and abiding by the Highway code. No red light jumping, unexpected turns or dangerous overtaking will be accepted. If we feel you are putting other group members at risk you will be asked to bail out immediately. Please note that you join us at your own risk and that by joining us on this trip you understand, accept and agree to take all the risks inherent and expected from cycling on the roads exempting myself and your fellow riders for any accident/injury you may sustain. This should be read as a clause of exemption of liability for all purposes.
What to bring: a road/light hybrid bike in good condition (I recommend you service it before the ride); spare inner tube; a puncture kit; a tool kit and a pump. Water bottles. Lights (you will need a good front light with a strong beam as we will be cycling in the night). Weather proof gear. A helmet: it's mandatory to wear a helmet when you ride with us.
Weather : Everything will be booked in advance so the ride will go ahead with sunshine or rain. Do you like cycling in the rain? I suggest you think about this possiblity and whether you will enjoy the ride in adverse weather conditions.
One of the aims of the Cycling group is to appreciate of our natural surroundings, local towns and villages. We hope to minimise our impact by making sure that we are responsible for our litter. Please dispose of all of your litter and snack wrappers carefully".
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