Thu 26 Jul - Sun 29 Jul 2018

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Why book with Charity Challenge

Clothing and Equipment

Type of Bike

Packing your Bike

Training

Money

Insurance

Group Size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Challenge Timings

Getting there

Accommodation

Food & Drink

Toilets

Safety

Emergencies

Level of Difficulty

The London to Paris bike ride is graded as moderate. This is the perfect challenge for participants who haven’t experienced cycling abroad and who haven’t experienced the feeling of consecutive days riding before. It is a strenuous challenge which will allow people to push themselves out of their comfort zone. You can tell your supporters that on your London to Paris bike ride you will be:

  • Cycling from around 8 hours each day.
  • Covering roughly 370km over 3 days of cycling
  • Ascending over 800m each day
  • Cycling into Paris around the iconic Arc de Triomphe and along the Champs Elysees

Why book with Charity Challenge

  • Everything included from the moment you arrive. Unlike other operators we include everything from hotel accommodation, your evening meals, breakfast, lunch and plenty of snacks and water stops whilst on the bike ride.
  • The very best cycling tour leaders, who are fully qualified, highly experienced, knowledgeable and fun. They will do everything to help you complete the challenge and have a great time doing it.
  • The accommodation is situated in the heart of Paris and a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower.
  • The highest quality London to Paris experience on the market!

Clothing and Equipment

Choosing the right kit could make a huge difference to your enjoyment of the challenge. You will need to bring your own helmet so that the fit will be perfect. You will not be allowed to ride unless you wear a helmet. We recommend you bring your own gloves too. They are an essential piece of kit that will relieve strain and abrasions in the event of a fall. You must also bring your own padded cycle shorts, and stiff-soled sports shoes are recommended if you are not wearing SPD shoes. You will need to bring your own puncture repair kit, inner tubes and pump with you in case you get a puncture during the challenge. Please refer to the kit list for more details here.

Your main luggage will go in the support vehicle that is transported to the hotel each night and you will only need snacks, camera, drinks etc. in your jersey pockets or backpack for the day.

Type of Bike

Typically a good road bike is recommended for the challenge; however a hybrid and mountain bike would be suitable, but possibly make your life more difficult. A mountain bike may struggle to keep up with the same pace as some cyclists on a road bike because it will be heavy and the tyres are wider. We would recommend that the bike is serviced the week before your challenge to ensure that the brake and gear cables along with brake pads haven’t been to worn out during your pre-challenge training.

Packing your Bike

Bikes can be packed into a bike box if you wish, but please notify us beforehand so that we can ensure there is enough room for the box in our vehicles. You will be expected to have the necessary tools with you to construct and deconstruct your bike. Once you have completed the challenge we will transport your bikes back to London by van so that you can collect them at St Pancras International Station.

Training

This challenge is suitable for all levels, as it is guided. If you have never cycled before, this ride is still achievable with the correct ride preparation. We advise that you start at least 5 months ahead of the ride with some short distances at weekends and whenever you can during the week. 5-10miles is not a great distance and will help your bottom and legs get used to it all. By 3 months prior to departure, you should be able to take on longer rides, up to 40-50miles in a day. If you live in a flat area it is well worth getting out and finding some hills, and whilst this may hurt, the more of these you do the easier you will find the ride and the rest of your training. Within a month of the ride we recommend that you have done at least one 2-day ride. This will be the best indication of how well you are doing and mentally prepare you for the 3 days to Paris. If you cannot maintain a steady average speed of 8 miles per hour you are unlikely to be able to complete each day’s cycling. You may therefore be asked to get in the van. If possible, try to train with a group as it will make it much easier to get motivated.

Money

Cash: We recommend approximately £125 in Euros as a sufficient amount for your London to Paris bike ride, and you could bring this all in cash, or in a mixture of cash and a bankcard (check with your own bank about relevant charges). You will need a debit or credit card in case of emergency.

ATMs: There will be ATMs on each nightly stop, but you are unlikely to pass them during the day.

Tips: We recommend approximately £10-£15pp for tipping, which will be given to the challenge leader at the end of the challenge and split between all of the leaders and drivers fairly.

Insurance

We have an insurance policy for our London to Paris bike ride. However, the bike coverage is excluded from the cover. They are normally covered under home contents insurance which usually includes cover when away from the home, but you should always confirm this with your home insurer / broker. This policy is optional, and you can of course seek your own cover. We also recommend that you bring with you an EU Health Insurance card in case of medical emergency. You can easily obtain one of these free of charge.

Group Size

Our group size will be around 30 to 50 people.

Leadership

There will be a first aid qualified challenge leader who speaks English and French, plus a fully qualified cycling guide for every 10 participants. There will also be a qualified medic in the leadership team. The leader & the guides will ultimately be responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group, so please listen to their instructions.

Climate

As you know, the weather in the UK can be highly unpredictable and at times erratic (and it is the same in the regions of France that we will cycle through), so being prepared is the key! We run UK challenges between April and October, and although the summer months of June-August should be, in general, warmer, sunnier and more stable in terms of the weather conditions, we all know that this isn’t always the case. Please check the weather forecasts up to ensure that you bring clothing suitable for warm sunny weather and also sudden wind and downpours should they occur.

Terrain

This cycle challenge will put you up against a whole host of different terrain across the UK and France. From great lengths of flat ground, to hours spent on hilly land, be prepared for all types of environments. For this is reason it is important to train properly. Please be aware that the distances, lunch stops and finish points may change from the elevation maps below.

Day 1 – Twickenham to Portsmouth

  • Lunch stop at around 40 to 50 miles
  • Harting Hill will test your lungs and legs in the South Downs. There is a 1km climb reaching a gradient of 16% in sections
  • Short and sharp climbs whilst in the UK

Day 2 – Caen to Evreux

  • Steady climbing to be expected through France, in particular the Route de Lisieux around 20km into the day

Day 3 – Evreux to Paris

  • Gentle climbs at the start of the day before the triumphal ride into Paris

Challenge Timings

Your challenge will begin at 8 in the morning, where you will start the adventure with an 80 mile cycle to Dover. After the first long day of cycling, you will board the ferry to Calais.

After breakfast on the second morning, you will cycle 77 miles through to Amiens. On the morning of the third day, the group will make an early start cycling towards our destination, finishing at the Eiffel Tower.

On your final day, the group will have the morning free to lie-in or make the most of Paris prior to getting a Eurostar train in the afternoon back to St. Pancras International Station.

Getting there

The group will convene in the leafy suburbs of West London where you will meet the rest of the group. We will confirm the exact location of your starting point at no later than 1 month prior to the start of the challenge. Please ensure that you have breakfast beforehand, because breakfast is not provided for on the first day.

Accommodation

All accommodation will be in good quality tourist-class hotels of 2-3 star rating. Rooms will be used on a twin share basis & all rooms will have their own bathroom. If you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with, please indicate this where appropriate during the registration process or if you email bookings@charitychallenge.com well in advance of the challenge.

Food & Drink

The hotels in which you will be staying will have a continental breakfast buffet (please note that breakfast is not included on departure in London). At lunch times you will stop and have a light yet energy-filled picnic. Dinner will be either at the hotel or at a local restaurant. Water will be provided throughout. Please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.

Toilets

There will be bathroom facilities both at the start and end of each day of the challenge. However during the challenge such facilities will be limited to lunch breaks as well as service stations and public restrooms en-route.

Safety

Safety advice for the London to Paris Cycle Challenge
Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

Here are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • The terrain on the challenge is often undulating, especially in the UK and through the South Downs. Once you reach France the terrain is more gradual with a few steady climbs.
  • The weather during the challenge can be unpredictable so we would recommend checking the weather forecast before hand, and pack the appropriate clothes for the challenge.
  • You will be expected to adhere to the Highway Code during the challenge and respecting the traffic laws. Once you arrive into France you will be required to cycle on the right hand side of the road, and it is a legal requirement that you have a bell on your bike.
  • 8 hours of cycling is long time to spend on a bicycle, so please ensure that you fuel your body correctly at the water stops and during breakfast and lunch. There will be plenty of water stops to fill up your water bottles during the challenge.

Emergencies

The back up support vehicle will never be far away from participants and can be used in the event of an emergency. Contact will be maintained between challenge leader, guides and support team throughout the challenge. Mobile phones have good general coverage and all guides carry one. You will always be given an emergency card with your leader’s number on it and those of the guides.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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