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London 2 Paris.............is it a challenge?

psychologist1psychologist1 Posts: 14
edited September 2007 in Tour & expedition
I fancy a challenge to really get me fit! London to Paris sounds challenging........is it good? whats the training like? Any well organised rides out there?

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  • I fancy a challenge to really get me fit! London to Paris sounds challenging........is it good? whats the training like? Any well organised rides out there?

    Any ride can be challenging. it all depends on the pace at which you ride.

    Google for Fred Whitton and guage the challenge in that as a day ride. I'd be content using a calender as a timing device for that particular ride.

    As for training - there's lots of different ideas as to what is the best approach to training. I had the Long Distance Cyclists' Handbook which covers nutrition, exercise and sleep for a range of endurance cycling events ranging from Ride Across America, LEJOG, Audaxes and the like and chose to do my own thing prior to doing a LEJOG ride.
  • ian_oliian_oli Posts: 763
    Some non-cyclist acquaintances did it. They found it a challenge.
  • ASC1951ASC1951 Posts: 992
    A friend of mine wondered if, in her late 30s, she was too old for something which I believe is called Arch to Arc - run from Marble Arch to the Channel, swim to France, cycle to the Arc de Triomphe.

    She thought her running might let her down. Me, I'd need a full body transplant.

    As a straight bike ride I would think there are lots more interesting routes than London to Paris. Kent is OK but a lot of northern France is pretty dull terrain.
  • EurostarEurostar Posts: 1,806
    Go foreign! Cycling abroad is so much better than here, if you ask me. Calais to Paris is a start, but further south would be better. How about the Pyrenees?
    <hr>
    <h6>What\'s the point of going out? We\'re just going to end up back here anyway</h6>
  • daviddddaviddd Posts: 637
    perhaps the main challenge will be the traffic, unless you can find routes to avoid.
    Oct 2007 to Sep 2008 - anticlockwise lap of Australia... http://www.davidddinoz.blogspot.com/
    French Alps Tour 2006: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=r ... =1914&v=5R
    3 month tour of NZ 2015... http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/nz2014
  • I.B.I.B. Posts: 188
    As a straight bike ride I would think there are lots more interesting routes than London to Paris. Kent is OK but a lot of northern France is pretty dull terrain.[/quote]

    I'd second that. A nice challenge if you're thinking of France is to do one of the 'Fleches de France' - you can find details on them on the French Cyclo tourism's website - www.ffct.com (I think - ffct is definitely correct though.)

    They all start in Paris and go to the different 'points' or corners of France - some are therefore much longer than others... You can either choose to do one of these 'officially' where you sign up and get a little book/card thing which you have to get stamped at certain towns which are 'control points' on the route (I think if you complete it all you eventually get sent a certificate...) or just use their excellent planned routes and do it freestyle. You'll find they have a 'route classique' and a 'route touristique'. The touristique one is the one you'll want. They're excellently researched, take you most of the time on lovely quiet roads, and take you through parts of France you'd probably never discover on your own. Where possible, they try to choose particularly picturesque or historically interesting 'checkpoint' towns and they also tend to be towns where you can find hotels. Generally the checkpoints are every 60 k or so, so you could also use these as a way of breaking up your trip. If you want to take things gently, why not do a checkpoint a day? If you've got lots of miles in your legs, do two or three. Obviously if you're doing it under your own steam you can ignore the control towns completely, they're just a handy way of helping you break up your day. Sometimes they may also be the only village for miles around that has a bakery or a bar... so they're useful reference points in that respect too.

    One thing worth bearing in mind, if you're not so used to touring long distances (yet...) is that the exit from Paris can be tiresome, although it feels pleasingly authentic to set off from the city centre! If you want to cut all the initial city/suburb traffic censored you might want to take a train. There's a good network of surburban trains called the RER and provided you avoid the rushhour you can usually bring your bike on board.

    Finally, there's a great French map publisher called IGN which has 1cm:1km scale maps for cyclists covering the whole of France. They're really excellent and can be bought in most bookshops in Paris.

    Good luck with deciding on your challenge! I can't think of any more fun way of getting fit and losing a bit of weight than going on a touring holiday... Now you've got me thinking of doing another Fleche...
  • I think the correct www address is http://www.lif-ffct.net/ (the URL you gave didn't seem to work).

    Time to dig out my GCSE french textbooks.... :D
    "I have a lovely photo of a Camargue horse but will not post it now" (Frenchfighter - July 2013)
  • I.B.I.B. Posts: 188
    OK I was being lazy.. sorry. have now looked it up and it's www.ffct.org (Fédération Française de Cyclotourisme). The lif-ffct one is their off shoot for the Ile de France, which is the area surrounding Paris. Parts of it are very nice, especially if you live in Paris, but you might feel a bit disappointed if you'd come there specially for a holiday... it's very flat...and gets a bit boring after a while.
  • jibijibi Posts: 857
    I also remember northern France as being flat and boring.

    but some here have dome the London 2 Paris and said they did 28000 ft of ascent. so there must be interesting routes too.

    As for being a challenge, everyone has their own level.
    and the training can be done by riding Audax in the Uk. as has already been said.

    Get out there and ride. Make every ride a challenge.

    good luck

    Tailwinds

    george
  • ian_oliian_oli Posts: 763
    A lot of people only think of travel on the main roads when they say northern France is boring - sure some bits are just dull prairie, but the river valleys and many of the towns and villages are much more interesting, plus the WW1 battlefields are in your way. Using a Michelin road atlas and looking for minor roads with the green "scenic" line as much as possible to plan a route and then join them up to link places like St Omer, Amiens, Chantilly and you have the makings of an interesting tour.
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