One thing had always stopped me riding from London to Paris. Charities. With the masses of adverts in the cycling press persuading people to ride for their cause and seeing all the people congregating in London ready to make their first tentative pedal strokes, emblazoned in their respective charity’s jerseys, it was a ride I had permanently associated with fundraising rather than bicycle touring. So I never bothered. Not because I don’t like charities, but because I am awful / have no interest in raising money and therefore very unlikely to meet the minimum donation.
Now, that didn’t mean I didn’t have a bucket containing a list with this ride’s name on it. With most of the charity rides finishing in Paris for the Tour de France finale; with me a four time veteran spectator of the final stage; and with me having cycled to another part of France, something was starting to dawn. I do imagine Sandra in this situation to be tapping her foot and looking at her watch, somewhat impatiently waiting for the penny to drop during this epiphany, but why not just cycle there anyway?
So, having decided that we should dispense with the faff of getting a train to London just to ride on rubbish roads out again, and having learnt absolutely nothing about solely relying on Komoot for route planning, we told it to get us from Essex to Paris via Dover / Calais and get us home via Dieppe and Newhaven. This is the story of our latest bike packing adventure.
With the most exciting Tour de France since the last most exciting one, we had to get over to Paris to be part of the background. This is the UK leg of our journey.
After an effortless, early morning run through Dover Ferry Port on our bicycles, we finally set foot on French soil and head towards Amiens, 160 km closer to Paris.
After diverting away from the Avenue Verts, we take the ever busier roads before arriving in an ever more chaotic Paris.
Having arrived in Paris yesterday evening, today was the day of two tours. We set off in to the heat to try and view at least one of them.
In order that we didn’t miss our Ferry, we let the train take the strain to Dieppe. It didn’t stop the journey being a little worrisome though.
Essex – Paris – Essex