London 2 Paris

dmr180 Posts: 42
edited July 2013 in Road general
Hello everyone,

I am planning a L2P next year for myself and 7 friends in aid of SANDS. This charity deals with stillborn and neonatal deaths. One of my ride partners tragically lost his child 6 weeks prior to due date this year and we as friends felt powerless to help around a very difficult time. That is why I have came up with the idea of this ride to raise funds for the charity that have supported both my friwnd and his wife so much.

The problem lies in that I have a couple of issues regards planning. We intend to use the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry crossing and then the Avenue Verte route as listed online.

Has anyone any experience of this route and also ways of transporting bikes back?

Options I have considered are Eurostar (seems expensive), plane (would need bike box hire), or van hire if we can secure a driver.

Is it worthwhile approaching ferry companies, airlines etc for group discount or even seeing if they would reduce fees in return for advertising on jerseys, material etc.

We are planning on staying in Paris for the end of Le tour so any companies that sponsored us would have their logo etc on display at the tour.

Thank you all for your time in reading this and please forgive all my newbie type questions, we just want to do all we can for my friend and this very worthwhile charity.


  • cornerblock
    cornerblock Posts: 3,228
    Very very sorry to hear of your friends tragic loss, I do hope that their sadness turns to joy one day soon. Good on you and all your other friends for doing something positive to raise funds for and awareness of a charity that does so much to help those with such a bereavemeant.

    As for the ride, I did do the L2P a couple of years ago with AMR which went Dover/ Calais way so I have no experience of the Newhaven/ Dieppe route, I'm sure there would be routes available though to download. If you are intending to do the ride as a small group then the ferry is the way to go. Might be a good idea to hire a van as a support vehicle and get a friend to act as driver, if you can't get anyone to volunteer for the driving role why not all take a turn at the wheel? Would be good to have everything in the van so you can all carry as little as possible while riding.

    Good luck with everything.
  • dmr180
    dmr180 Posts: 42
    Looked into the ferry today and works out £25 each one way as foot passengers. not too sure of the van cost on the ferry as yet. Looks like the best option though. Eurostar wanted £100 each way plus 60 for bike transport
  • apreading
    apreading Posts: 4,535
    You could look at this:

    Not a recommendation as I have no experience of them, but I read someone elses blog somewhere ages ago and they did.

    Did this route a couple of months back with a tour company and they brought the bikes back on a van while we had a day in paris and eurostar back. Was a really good route. We stopped in Lewes on the way down. I have seen some people sleep on the ferry crossing to save on a hotel but as its only a 4 hour crossing, you wouldnt get much sleep and would be setting off in the dark, tired and it wouldnt make for a fun first day in france if you ask me.
  • martinperry
    martinperry Posts: 127
    Did this with a group of 10 novices in May
    Used Donald Hirsch's route
    Basically uses Ave Verte to start with.
    It works PERFECTLY - a really great piece of work
    On return, Eurostar charge about £40 per bike - You can book onto a specific train, but what we did was drop them at Gare Du Nord on arrival in Paris, then collected them 2 days later from St Pancras - Saves worrying about storage in hotels etc.
    Regarding sponsorship etc, there were 240 bikes on our crossing (late May bank hol Monday) and a large number of those were doing it for some kind of charity, so I would guess you arent that "unique" to be of interest to many companies!!
  • deswahriff
    deswahriff Posts: 310
    ...we did this 2 years ago from our local pub ( a group of 15)..we had a van and car support so didn't use the Ave Vert, but the road from Dieppe to Neufchatel, our first stop (Hotel de Grand Cerf -superb, very cycle friendly and great value!), was fine. If you're interested, I can post our GPX's....
    ..from memory, the Newhaven crossing was very good value...
    btw, I would recommend the canal route into Paris...makes it really easy (this after us getting hopelessly lost in Beauvais!).
    We came back by Eurostar while the bikes came back in the van.. of luck with your planning.
  • whitebirdyman
    whitebirdyman Posts: 29
    edited August 2013
    I cycled the Avenue Verte both ways in June and was not keen because of keep slowing each time it crosses a road, also there was not much of a view on most of the section from Neufchatel to Forges. I did a bit of cycling on the road and that seemed quite pleasant and not too busy when I was there. Also some nice loops of that road if you are not in a rush - I was camping in the area rather than doing L2P.
  • Gav2000
    Gav2000 Posts: 408
    I rode from Dieppe to Paris to see the end of the Tour de France this year. I look the overnight Newhaven to Dieppe ferry (£37.50 return with my bike) and (after fixing a puncture gained while leaving the ferry) set off towards Paris at about 4:30am. It was dark but cool for the first 60-90 minutes and out of the town there were very few street lights. I followed the road parallel to the Avenue Verte which is rolling rather than dead flat but is quite quiet and doesn't have any barriers to avoid as the Avenue Verte seemed to do.

    I made it to the outskirts of Paris by 11:30am but slowed down in the suburbs as it was so hot (38C according to my cycle computer). I tried to pick reasonably quiet roads into Paris but also still quite direct and this was the worst part of the route. I eventually made it to the IBIS in La Defense at about 2pm, they let me keep my bike in their luggage room. I've since been told that entering Paris via Versailles is more picturesque and less busy, I'd try this route next time. My route was 105 miles but only included 500m of climbing.

    On the way back I got a train from Paris St Lazare to Rouen and then cycled a very quiet route back to Dieppe. Both ways I navigated using a route on my bike computer that I defined in Map My Ride, I had a back up map in my pannier but didn't need to look at it.

    I hope this helps, I'm not sure if my Map My Ride routes are public but I can make them public if required.



    PS The outskirts of Paris were about 25km, possibly 30km, thinking back I'd really try to make this section quieter and more picturesque another time.

    Like a streak of lightnin' flashin' cross the sky,
    Like the swiftest arrow whizzin' from a bow,
    Like a mighty cannonball he seems to fly.
    You'll hear about him ever'where you go.
  • dmr180
    dmr180 Posts: 42
    Many thanks for the replies.

    I have been in touch with a local van hire firm who can offer a lwb transit for 150 from fri-mon.

    I am now just waiting for dfds seaways to get back to me regarding group fares and the cost of taking the van.

    Avenue Verte was my original planned route. looks ideal but may use the adjacent roads so the van can stay with us rather than meeting at various places on route.

    Cant wait now, excited already!!
  • Gav2000
    Gav2000 Posts: 408
    You should plan to keep some food and water in the van as finding shops that are actually open is not that easy if you're cycling in the morning and over the long French lunchtime. The first shop I found that was open was after the end of the Avenue Verte, about 55km in. It was worth the wait though as the Pain au Chocolat were straight out of the oven. On the way back from Rouen to Dieppe I don't think I saw anywhere open between the outskirts of Rouen and the entrance to Dieppe.


    Like a streak of lightnin' flashin' cross the sky,
    Like the swiftest arrow whizzin' from a bow,
    Like a mighty cannonball he seems to fly.
    You'll hear about him ever'where you go.