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As You Ride
Our target average speed is 15mph / 25kph. On level sections you'll find that you can easily achieve more than this, but you'll slow to 5 mph on some hilly sections. All cyclists will normally ride as a single group; on narrow sections of road you may be asked to split into two pre-arranged smaller groups who will travel with a 200 metre interval between them for increased safety.
There's no off-road sections at all on this trip. Go for a lighter bike with a comfortable saddle, that's suitable for on-road work.
We will circulate a recommended clothing and suggested packing list six weeks before we depart.
Bottled water and a range of soft drinks will be available at morning, lunch and afternoon stops, and from the support van as required at any other time.
We have a Group booking on the 1713 departure from the Gare Du Nord. If you want to travel on an earlier train, or fly, then you can do so but you'll need to arrange your own ticket at your cost.
We will have a comprehensive First Aid kit on the support vehicle. Craig Vassie is a First Aider trained by St John Ambulance and will be able to deal with minor injuries.
The Group Leader is Ollie Vassie. You can read his account of the 2011 Cycle Challenge on our "What Its Like" page.
Are compulsory. No helmet = no ride!!
You will need to arrange your own travel insurance. An ordinary travel insurance policy should suffice as you will NOT be racing or competing. Please ensure that the policy provides sufficient cover in the event that an injury (worst case) requires your repatriation.
Nous parlons Francais couramment!! No need to worry. All bases covered!!
Craig Vassie is also a professionally qualified and insured clinical aromatherapist and he will set up a massage couch at each night stop to deal with any leg and back pain.
Inclusive meals are as marked on the itinerary. We will normally all eat from the same menu unless the establishment offers a full choice. A typical menu (e.g. at Gournay en Bray) will be a vegetarian salad and meat buffet, followed by spaghetti bolognaise, and then a choice of fruit, yoghurts and ice cream. Wine is included with dinner. If you have special dietary requirements then please let us know. We will do our best to accommodate such requirements but cannot guarantee to do so.
Make sure that you bring your E111 card with you. This entitles you to free of charge medical treatment in France.
We'll have a tool kit with all the (normal) bike tools that you'd expect.
Bring any spare parts that you might need with you. They can travel in the support van. Please make sure that everything which will go into a bag does so, and that its all clearly labelled with your name.
Ollie will be running training events in and around the Chilterns in the run up to the trip. These are free of charge and you're welcome to attend; we'll have a support vehicle as required.
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