Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

London - Paris solo and unsupported??

rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
edited November 2010 in Tour & expedition
I'm fed up of all the organised L2P routes requiring huge amounts of sponsorship to take part in and the only company I can find that is doing a straightforward pay deal isnt running an tour at the right time (late July 2011). So, how feasible is this on my own?

I'd be meeting my wife in Paris so there's not much chance of a rescue once I've set off.

Any thoughts or experiences to share?? I'd be looking to do this in 3 or 4 days

Thanks


Tom

Posts

  • Excellent idea Tom...but I'm sure you will benefit from company though. I had the same thoughts for the organised and sponsored Lejog tours in 2011. Unfortunately for me too I can't raise thousands of pounds requested/required!
  • rodgers73 wrote:
    I'm fed up of all the organised L2P routes requiring huge amounts of sponsorship to take part in and the only company I can find that is doing a straightforward pay deal isnt running an tour at the right time (late July 2011). So, how feasible is this on my own?

    I'd be meeting my wife in Paris so there's not much chance of a rescue once I've set off.

    Any thoughts or experiences to share?? I'd be looking to do this in 3 or 4 days

    Thanks

    Tom

    My first tour was in Normandy in the early '80s. It's easy to do, so to get to Paris you just have to be clear of the best suburbs to enter in from the North or North West.

    Given I now live in Australia, you'll have to forgive my memory on this but:

    1st day - London to Brighton (via Ditchling?) then on to Newhaven via the coast (alternative via Lewes??) - overnight crossing to Dieppe

    2nd day - early start Dieppe to Rouen for lunch or instead head more South East from Cleres (a bit hillier??) along some quieter villages and stop around Etrepagny or Gisors?

    3rd day - easy meander to Paris and if you stick near a train line if you get late, hop on a train. We travelled on a train with bikes from Rouen to Paris in 2008 and it was OK.

    All you need is a few words of French - the locals are friendly and appreciative if you at least attempt their language, and a couple of the Michelin 1:200,000 maps (can you still buy maps in these days of GPS ???)

    Just take the plunge - it's easy to do and you won't need rescuing!

    Bon courage et bon chance,

    Tony
    BTP,

    Perth, WA
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I'm more excited about doing it on my own - going to do my house (Doncaster) to the south coast next Easter as a warm up. Any tips on what to carry etc would be useful!

    Also, routes into Paris would be useful to know - do they have cycle routes over there?? I'm guessing a country as mad on cycling as France would have good provision for this sort of thing???
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    rodgers73 wrote:
    I'm more excited about doing it on my own - going to do my house (Doncaster) to the south coast next Easter as a warm up. Any tips on what to carry etc would be useful!

    Also, routes into Paris would be useful to know - do they have cycle routes over there?? I'm guessing a country as mad on cycling as France would have good provision for this sort of thing???

    Where's your sense of adventure? Just get on your bike and ride .............. :roll: .
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I've only got one go at this due to cash shortage and not much time off work.

    Cant afford to be that cavalier about it :)
  • Route here:

    http://www.donaldhirsch.com/dieppeparis.html

    Sounds good - I quite fancy doing this myself.
  • Route here:

    http://www.donaldhirsch.com/dieppeparis.html

    Sounds good - I quite fancy doing this myself.

    +1 - looks really great.
  • Brave man, Tom...I wouldn't fancy it alone. A group of us from our village are planning something similiar for May next year. Again, the thought of having to raise so much has put us off the charity rides, so we're taking a diy approach, paying our own way, and then raising what we can for charity almost as an aside.
    We're planning doing it over 3/4 days, but with minibus back up leaving the village at 4.00 am (!!) to catch the 9.30 ferry from Newhaven (40 miles), then blasting on for another 20 miles or so before the first overnight stop. Then 2 "easy" days, arrive Paris Saturday and lots of r and r before heading back to Dieppe in said minibus for 6pm ferry - back in the local pub for last orders!
    That Donald Hirsch route is great, wonderfully detailed- well done, sir!- which we'll probably follow; we've got one ex-para and one ex-marine in our group, so getting lost is not on the agenda!
    We're still at the early stages of planning (eg haven't finalised hotels or even stopping points yet), but I'll happily share any useful stuff we come across.
    ..good luck!!
    Black and orange one,
    Red one,
    Black one.
  • crikey, its only 180 miles ish from calais.
    What could really go so wrong that cant be taken care of.
    I've been thinking about a trip myself next year and was thinking eurostar to lyon then a ride home ON MY OWN ! :D
  • jc4labjc4lab Posts: 1,055
    Took the train the Paris and cycled from there to the ferry at Dieppe basically via Versialles then following the Seine part way then Stayiing at Rouen en route..Nothing complicated or planned..Just used Michelin recommended Scenic roads as highlighted by green borders .. A very pleasant trip cheered on by viilagers as you pass through..but no real must sees..Versailles & Rouen are worth a visit/stopover Just turned up at Tourist information in Rouen and they found me a guest house..
    jc
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    jc4lab wrote:
    Took the train the Paris and cycled from there to the ferry at Dieppe basically via Versialles then following the Seine part way then Stayiing at Rouen en route..Nothing complicated or planned..Just used Michelin recommended Scenic roads as highlighted by green borders .. A very pleasant trip cheered on by viilagers as you pass through..but no real must sees..Versailles & Rouen are worth a visit/stopover Just turned up at Tourist information in Rouen and they found me a guest house..


    I like that approach! :D
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    Just hop on and go. France is a delightful place in which to ride. The roads are much quieter than they are in England and the drivers far more courteous. Yes, there are bicycle routes - the French stretch of the Route Vert (between London and Paris) is pretty well set and although I've not ridden it myself, I've heard nice things. When I've ridden in France though I've just made up my own route on the minor D-roads and had no troubles whatsoever.

    Solo unsupported touring is great - you get a wonderful sense of independence and self reliance, and once you have done it once and seen how handy it can be, you'll be hooked. Have a great journey.
  • jc4labjc4lab Posts: 1,055
    Mentioned it many times before but if in Paris I can recommend the guided bikerides done by Fatire bike tours who meet under the eiffel tower...Paris by day,,by night.. Monets gardens etc..Lots on them..makes for a nice start or end to a trip to or from Paris ...
    jc
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