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Is the London to Paris Bike Ride still popular?

KainaKaina Posts: 19
Hi everyone,

I work for a charity, we are Doctors of the World UK and I'm really trying to find cyclists to sign up for the London to Paris Bike Ride. We're having a very hard time finding cyclists though and was wondering whether I could get some advice from cycling enthusiasts. Would you do it? Did you ever do the London to Paris for charity? Any tips on where I should search for participants?

Much appreciated!

http://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/events/default.Asp

Posts

  • kayo74kayo74 Posts: 299
    It's a great ride and I done it on my own in 2011 and hooked up with some great lads on the trip and had a brilliant time. I went with Skyline and was very well done and had plenty of support all the way and give you plenty of info and training plans well before you go to get prepared. Not being big headed but not overly difficult challenge.
  • You'll find as it's become "less extreme", people have started organising it themselves. Because so many people have now done it, there's very few unknowns and therefore people are confident enough to attempt it without the support that a charity ride or a company such as Skyline offers.

    Not going through a charity or using a support company/organiser, means that people can complete the ride much cheaper. However, it does come with risks. For one, if you get injured or involved in a crash in France; I can tell you that while it's no horror story, being admitted to a French hospital without speaking French or having a translator/familiar face isn't a pleasant experience. It's also nice having the support in terms of food and rest stops along the way. A hot meal ready and waiting for you at the side of the road can make all the difference to your morale and mood, and may give you the shove you need to continue to the finish.

    Hope that helps!
    "Of all the paths you chose in life, make sure some of them are dirt..."
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I've done it twice, once alone once with 3 others. Both times I was happy organising it without any help from a charity and it was a relief not to have to raise a pretty staggering amount of money to be able to take part.
  • KainaKaina Posts: 19
    Thank you all for the very useful advice and your opinions of the ride.

    Skyline is our partner and we're happy with our collaboration but it's increasingly difficult to find participants and I'm slowly starting to understand the reasons - mainly the pain of fundraising.
    Unfortunately for us the bigger charities have corporate partners who cover most of the costs for the ride so they can have much lower sponsorship levels and that's a decisive factor when a cyclist decides on the charity.

    It's good to know that it's still a popular event, perhaps if we manage to find a partner one day we'll find more supporters.

    Thanks!
  • The only thing putting me off this is the ~£1500 fund raising price tag. I think I'd have to get a business on board to sponsor me as finding 150 to give £10 in the current financial state of the nation would be very tough.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    I am thinking seriously about it, but a few things causing me issues:

    1 - I wont do one of these where you pay little and people sponsoring you end up funding your holiday rather than the charity. Some rides allow you to pay a proper fee and all the sponsorship goes wherever you want it to.

    2 - Most of the rides go from Dover and have a long first day - I have done 80 in a day and could probably go a bit higher but wouldnt be so sure about doing it as the first of a multi-day journey. I have found a only 1 company that goes from Newhaven to Dieppe - which seems to mean a slightly shorter first day and a much nicer route - this is what I would like.

    3 - I think my son could do it if we kept the daily mileage to around 60. but as above few companies do this.

    4 - The one company that does the route I would like and allows me to pay in full rather than my sponsorship paying for my holiday only does it in term time so my son couldnt do it with me anyway...

    As an aside, having done both holidays and charity events where my accomodation is sorted, I dont have to carry my luggage and there are food stops and a backup vehicle with repair stuff - I would never do it without that.
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    Its a lot easier than you think to do it unsupported. The Newhaven - Dieppe ride works out at about 60 miles a day if you go Dieppe - Beauvais - Paris. Carrying your gear using a rack and panniers is very feasible, especially as you won't need much. Costs aren't exactly high either -

    Ferry - £30
    Hotels in Beauvais and Paris 2 x £50
    Eurostar home (if booked early enough) - £60 + £30 bike fare

    Give it a go!
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    For me I would love to do it and probabably will do independently at some stage soon... Don't want to appear mean but the prospect of having to raise £1000 to £1500 is seriously scary and I really have other things to do with my life. Saw one advertised in big issue for £50 but but I knew there were strings.

    I love cycling in France, and am quite happy to blag my way around on my own or with friends and it would only take a few minutes to organise for myself off the Internet. Ok there would be no backup and an acceptable risk
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    rodgers73 wrote:
    Its a lot easier than you think to do it unsupported. The Newhaven - Dieppe ride works out at about 60 miles a day if you go Dieppe - Beauvais - Paris. Carrying your gear using a rack and panniers is very feasible, especially as you won't need much. Costs aren't exactly high either -

    Ferry - £30
    Hotels in Beauvais and Paris 2 x £50
    Eurostar home (if booked early enough) - £60 + £30 bike fare

    Give it a go!

    Most of the ones I have seen with reasonable mileage do 3 days cycling in france - meaning an extra hotel there.

    I would want a hotel at either Newhaven or Dieppe too - 4 hours on the ferry trying to kip at the end of a days cycling, with another day to go is not my idea of fun...

    So the total package works out at £350+ minimum

    Would rather pay £600 to a company that sorts it all for me and provides me some backup...
  • I can't comment too much with regards to multi-day events. The only stage rides that we operate are Lands End to John O'Groats and private, corporate events. Our London to Paris is run as a 24 hour endurance event.

    What I can say is that the costs of multi-day cycling events are huge! We recently organised a 10 cycle across the UK for a group of 50 cyclists with additional riders joining us on individual days (some extra 100 cyclists per day). The result....I didn't know invoices could go that high!

    I can assure you that where multi-day events are concerned, the extra support is very much needed, welcome, and for the most part relatively inexpensive for the return you get when everything goes pear shaped. The support is less of an issue when you are doing a 24 hour ride that you know you are capable of; you just grit your teeth and bear it.

    With regards to the charity fundraising targets, as mentioned, the costs are huge. As all of these costs are passed onto the charity then they set high targets to ensure that juice is worth the squeeze so to speak. Charities don't want to be organising large, international events with a relatively high level of risk for a few hundred pounds 'profit' at the end. Events like that are only worth doing instead of smaller local events, if they can raise large sums of money from them.

    Hope that clears everything up.

    Cheers,

    Jamie.
    "Of all the paths you chose in life, make sure some of them are dirt..."
  • njd37njd37 Posts: 162
    I look at doing L2P every year, and every year im put off by the thought of having to raise £1500+. Id much rather pay for it and then chose to raise money for a charity if I so wished. Not be put under pressure to raise a certain amount.
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    apreading wrote:
    rodgers73 wrote:
    Its a lot easier than you think to do it unsupported. The Newhaven - Dieppe ride works out at about 60 miles a day if you go Dieppe - Beauvais - Paris. Carrying your gear using a rack and panniers is very feasible, especially as you won't need much. Costs aren't exactly high either -

    Ferry - £30
    Hotels in Beauvais and Paris 2 x £50
    Eurostar home (if booked early enough) - £60 + £30 bike fare

    Give it a go!

    Most of the ones I have seen with reasonable mileage do 3 days cycling in france - meaning an extra hotel there.

    I would want a hotel at either Newhaven or Dieppe too - 4 hours on the ferry trying to kip at the end of a days cycling, with another day to go is not my idea of fun...

    So the total package works out at £350+ minimum

    Would rather pay £600 to a company that sorts it all for me and provides me some backup...

    Well, I'd still say it isn't that hard to do yourself. You're only talking about doing 120 miles in France so taking 3 days over it may be a little too conservative. You'll have a lot of time off the bike to fill and apart from Paris the places in route aren't very entertaining.
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