Glasgow to Paris any suggestions

Clements54 Posts: 5
edited October 2019 in Road beginners
Hi all, my first post here.

I have just got myself a road bike as I plan to do Glasgow to Paris next May 2020.

I am looking at around 100miles a day down to Portsmouth where I will get overnight ferry to Le Harve where it is around 200km to paris from there so mabey do the France part over a causal 2 days.

I am hoping to complete it in 7-8 days. I am a very fit 34 year old who does heaps of running but not so much on the bike.

This will be my first solo ride and I am just looking for any advice on what to take (how many spares etc)

I will fly back to Glasgow on Easyjet so will have to dissemble bike in Paris and pack up for to take on plane, I don’t as yet have a bike bag and can’t imagine there being a decent enough one to take on the trip with me without being to big?

Any advice would be of great help. Thanks



  • sam_anon
    sam_anon Posts: 153
    It sounds fun!

    Taking a bike bag with you is going to be problematic. Can you buy one in Paris or get the Eurostar/UK rail home? That said, I've heard taking bikes on the Eurostar is not as easy as you'd hope.

    I would plan for a rear rack and panniers and stay in b&bs, yhas etc to minimise kit you need to take.

    Regarding spares, a few spare tubes, pump, repair kit, a couple of cable inners and a multi-tool should see you through that trip (bike equipment depending, of course).
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    The first thing I'd recommend is to get some miles in your legs. Fit / good at running is great.
    But 7 or 8 Century rides back-to-back will take some considerable effort for a cycling newbie (not just on your legs). Get some practice in beforehand.
    This may also help you adjust your bike so that you are cycling in a comfortable and efficient position.

    Spares - multi-tool, pump, spare tubes. Also a few changes of bib-shorts / cycle-shirts as well as casual wear. Chamois cream may also be a recommendation. From your post it sounds as if this will be a solo ride (unsupported) - so a pannier rack & panniers. Also snack food and energy drink supplements.

    As for the bike-bag/box for the return flight - I'd plan to buy that in Paris, not carry it. Search on Paris bike shops.
    Cycling weakly
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    It's not just the bike bag - its the foam you need to give the bike enough protection. Might be worth cultivating some contacts in a french bike shop and pay them to pack the bike into one of their bike boxes that the bikes come in with shed loads of bubble wrap ?
  • pilot_pete
    pilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    Only carry basic spares - riding through England there will be plenty of bike shops where you can get your bike services if you encounter a problem.

    Basic spares I would suggest are:

    A couple of tubes
    Some self adhesive patches (for a nightmare double puncture followed by a third!)
    A quick link for your chain
    Basic tools including a small multi too with chain breaker, tyre levers and a pump
    A tyre boot (or something similar to patch the inside of a split/ bigger hole)

    You could carry your preferred energy drink, but how will you carry 7 days worth?! Better to just use what you can buy in shops/ garages. Orange juice mixed 50/50 with water will do. If you are suffering buy a can of coke, I kid you not!

    The same applies for bike food - you don’t want to be carrying 7 days worth, so just buy as you need. Start with a good breakfast such as porridge and fruit (you can even buy instant in a pot and sweet talk the shop assistant into boiling their kettle!) Carry a few chewy bars which you can buy individually, or at most a pack of 4. Plan a stop for lunch in a cafe somewhere and replenish bottles etc there. If you are planning B&Bs for each night find out where you can get food locally for your evening meal, and buy stuff for breakfast and for the first few miles if it is not provided.

    Try to keep other kit minimalistic - it’s amazing what you can get by with (or without). Depending on time of year, a change of clothing for the evenings - shorts if hot enough, or lightweight packable walking type trousers will do. Man made T-shirt which won’t look like you’ve slept in it, even if you have. A lightweight top just in case it gets chilly on the evenings, such as a thin down jacket which will pack really small, some socks, pants and lightweight trainers. That should do.

    Wash kit including tooth brush with most of the handle cut off, just enough toothpaste for the trip (so a well used tube with just enough left), one of those travel size shampoo/ body wash containers (100ml size) - used sparingly will get you through a week of showering. Small Sudocreme (you’ll be pleased you did!) and any other personal bits you feel you must take. I can survive without deodorant if all I am doing is showering, going for dinner then going to bed.

    Travelling light is the key - you will always be within a few miles of a shop or garage etc once you’ve got past Carlisle!

  • Best do it soon, an English couple sharing our table at a bar last night suggested all problems would be solved by "blowing Ireland out of the water" and building a "bloody big wall between England and Scotland"

    It should be noted that my wife is Scottish!!

    Good luck with the trip.
  • Best do it soon, an English couple sharing our table at a bar last night suggested all problems would be solved by "blowing Ireland out of the water" and building a "bloody big wall between England and Scotland"

    It should be noted that my wife is Scottish!!

    Good luck with the trip.

    They let you share their table?
  • me-109
    me-109 Posts: 1,915
    How was Boris and his other half? :)
  • me-109 said:

    How was Boris and his other half? :)

    He's been cut in half?
  • Hi Clements54, sounds like a fun trip!
    I did London to Paris a couple of years ago, in June, with 3 mates, completely self supported and we did it in 3 days - 1)London to Calais, via Dover Ferry, 2) Calais to Amiens, 3) Amiens to Paris. We took the Eurostar back to London the following day, no problem, big guards van with bike hangers in. I just had a bar bag, a small saddle pack and a top tube bag.
    In the bar bag I carried flip flops/shorts/t-shirt for the evenings, wash kit, passport, chargers, wallet, energy powder sachets, rain jacket.
    In the top tube bag I carried bars, gels etc.
    In the saddle pack I had spare tubes, CO2, multi tool etc.
    I know you’re taking a few more days, so one T-shirt and one pair of shorts may not be enough, but a larger saddle pack may suffice if you don’t have panniers, rack etc.
    We plotted the route ourselves via Strava and found the whole thing really stress free and enjoyable.
    Good Luck!
  • pottssteve
    pottssteve Posts: 4,069
    Hope the ride planning is going well. A couple of things occurred to me:

    1. As mentioned above, get some riding in. You need to train not just the legs but the whole body position to be comfortable over long distances. Possibly even think about a bike fit before you go.
    2. If you haven't ridden a lot get some practice fixing punctures/changing inner tubes, doing simple repairs etc before you need the skills by the side of the road.
    3. If this is going to be a regular thing you could buy a bike bag from an online retailer and get it delivered to your accommodation in Paris for the return journey.

    Head Hands Heart Lungs Legs