Advice please re London to Paris

charlesa Posts: 26
edited July 2014 in Tour & expedition
Good morning all, my wife has signed up to do a London/Paris charity bike ride in September. I bought her a Boardman Hybrid to help her do this and I want to buy her a few other things to improve the experience. She has very little experience of cycling so I am keen to do what I can to help.
Could someone kindly recommend a good 3/4 length pair of padded Lycra cycling shorts that would be suitable ? Also I think she ought to ditch the standard pedals for a pair of clip ins along with suitable cycling shoes.
I would be grateful for any advice.
Many thanks in advance,


  • davidb67
    davidb67 Posts: 39
    Charles, is she signed-up on the DiscoverAdventure one by any chance?
    I did L2P in 2013 after buying a road-bike in March. Doing it again this year, same company, same time, as my son was inspired to want to complete it.
    I was a bit sedentary last year, didn't do anything to keep fit. So I was a complete newbie.
    I would recommend your wife gets out on the bike as often as possible and gradually builds-up the miles. All the advice I was getting was to be able to get to the point of being able to do around 3/4 of the daily distance (in my case with DiscoverAdventure it's 80 miles a day so that meant 45-50 miles). Being able to do that back-to-back at weekends becomes important closer to the event itself, since you're having to get up and do it all over again the next day!
    I tried some gym work once - with a personal trainer - it just wasn't for me, I'm just not a gym-bunny - plenty are and I'm not knocking that, it just isn't for me. Imortant to build-up core strength though, it isn't all just about the legs.

    Clipless pedals are useful but it will depend if your wife finds them helpful or a nightmare - some people can't get away with them. Most people were on road-bikes but around 15 or so on hybrids and managed fine. The bank of dad has just funded my son's bike purchase - a Boardman - and I have to say it's fantastic. we bought after a winter of scouring the magazines and reviews - the Boardmans really do get cracking reviews and if I hadn't already bought my Trek in March '13, I'd probably be looking for one myself.

    From starting from scratch in April last year (March brought snow and ice so I sat on a turbo-trainer), I'd racked-up around 1,500 miles training, including 3 sportives and a fun-ride. Others on the event (119 in total) had done less, some more. We ALL arrived in Paris for a memorable last few miles cycle up to the Arche de Triomphe and along the Champs Elysees to finish at the Eifel Tower - amazing experience.
    I was concerned at the start of my training, new to the bike: first few rides were only 7 miles, then 9, then 12, then 15, 17, 19 - EACH of those increases was like a mountain, and at 17 & 19 I genuinely began to get concerned that there was no way I could manage 80 or so. Sticking with it and getting out regularly slowly built the mileages and by July I took part in my first sportive - 70 miles, and thoroughly enjoyed myself - and set a half-decent time too. Somehow, by accident not design, all my training came together at the right time and I managed L2P!

    You don't mention if you cycle yourself; I'd say the biggest form of help you can give her is give her the support to get out and train wherever possible - without sounding patronising and I sincerely don't mean to, make sure your wife has time away from family/house activities to get out and get some miles in.

    feel free to have a look at my blog for my experience last year -

  • charlesa
    charlesa Posts: 26
    David, thank you so much for your detailed reply and a thousand apologies for taking 3 months to respond !
    She now is using clip-in pedals and loves them. She is cycling most days and did a 42 mile ride yesterday , Odiham/ Alresford/Bentworth/Froyle and back in Hampshire where we live. I ought to be going with her really but I got knocked off my bike in 2011 and spent a long time in intensive care with a fractured skull amongst other things and I only cycle short distances now. However one of our sons is going with her. I am hoping that the relatively hilly countryside round us will be more testing than the London to Paris route. She is signed up with the British Legion Poppy ride to Paris in early September.
    I am looking at your blog now.
    Kind regards and apologies again,