We (iCycle that is) are thinking of running this event again, now for the 8th time. So I'm just looking to see what interest there is. We need minimum 8 people, maximum 16.
It will be May bank holiday weekend Saturday 25th to Tuesday 28th.
All are welcome, if you've done it before, then you know what to expect. 1st timers especially welcome, and for those, here's a quick synopsis:
Day 1 Bedford to West Malling through Essex, Tilbury ferry - 100 miles
Day 2 West Malling to Boulogne, Channel ferry - 80 miles (shortest day, but actually hardest physically and mentally)
Day 3 Boulogne to Amiens, Somme valley - 86 miles
Day 4 Amiens to Paris, selfies at Eiffel Tower - 105 miles
Here's the bad news: there are many long miles, tricky technical sections, big climbs and hairy descents and Essex drivers. It may rain continuously (4 of the 7 times I have done it, there has been at least one day of continuous downpour - you cannot look out the window in the morning, see the rain, then just go back to bed!). To put it bluntly, it is long and painful.
Here's the good news: On the French side, the roads are beautiful and the riding is great. The sun may shine continuously! The feeling of getting up one Saturday morning, closing your door behind you, start pedaling, and 4 days later you're taking a selfie and eating hotdogs at the Eiffel Tower. The camaraderie and sense of achievement is a once in a lifetime feeling. Nearly half of the iCycle members have completed the ride already, many more than once. Anyone can do it, even if you are new to cycling, it just takes some dedication, determination, and a lot of hard training through the winter.
There will be a support vehicle to carry your luggage from stop to stop, and your bikes home. You will book your own hotels/B+Bs from links I post. Hotels/B+Bs are Premier Inns and Premier Classe / Camponile etc., will cost about £60 per night UK and £30-40 per night in France. Cheaper if you share.
Eurostar is about £50-100, depending how early you book it.
Cross Channel ferry is about £15 including your bike.
Share of fixed support fees (van hire/driver expenses etc.) will be about £150 each, depending on how many people sign up.
If we get enough people to run this event, once you decide to sign-up, we will need a £150 deposit immediately. This is non-refundable.
If you think you can rise to the challenge of 4 long/hilly Sunday rides back-to-back, then it will be great to have you join us. But be advised please, that there is no contingency for "dropping out" mid way. Even those with injuries must make their way to the nearest train station. Once you start, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!
Any questions, please post here. If you think you will join us in May 2019, please like this post.