Thursday morning we set off to Brighton from Battersea, we wanted this ride to be chilled and relaxing as it was only the first day and did not want to lose any good riding energy. There was a support car with us so all the bag’s and tool’s was with Emilie while she drives along side us. Getting out of London was diffcult for us and the car to be near, we had to pin point of where we was so the car can be in the right route as us. As we got more out of the london area the ride was more in rhythm and less traffic and the road was more open.
The sun and heat was on us as we rode out of the shades, that was the only thing making our ride hard but lucky we had enough water to keep us hydrated, after awhile drinking the water was like it just came out of the kettle. When we got into Brighton we made sure we had a good meal as it was going to be a long night and still had to go to New Haven for the ferry, we all had a nice relaxing time at the pub with nice food and drink. After that we headed back to the car and got ready to our next move to the ferry. As you may know the ride to New Haven was like 8mile’s or so but this route along the coast was so open and windy from the sea, it was an up and down hill’s that made the ride more interesting, just had to attack the hill’s going up and enjoy the fast descent as you go down it, all I can remember was the group got divided and I was with Rob and Louis, almost near to the port my curve muscle suddenly cramped up as I was going down a hill, it was the most difficult thing I had to come across. I could not stop or jump off my bike I had to keep going and wait till the pain eased off. We got to the port and was waiting for one more person to join us to the trip, Ren had to meet us there by train as he had family thing to attended, but the train got delayed and we all had to be in the ferry at 10:30pm, Ren was not there at all. Then from the distant we saw someone running with their bike bag and it was him going to the office to check in. We was lucky by a few minutes as the gates was closing.
In the ferry it was the most hardest place to lay on and sleep, I tried to sleep as much as I can but the four hours journey went by quickly and we was already in Dieppe arriving at 4am, it was a bit cold as we came out of the ferry, some of us wanted to stay at the arrival and sleep and some wanted to ride for a bit and sleep next to the lake. Me, Andy, Ren, Charles and Louis went for 15 minute’s ride going pass these village houses and smelling the fresh bakery and also passing a Nescafe factory, I love the smell of coffee in the morning. We set camp near the river next to avenue verte, I just crash down and fell asleep, woke up at 8am with the sun rise reflecting the water in the lake, it was beautiful, Andy made tea to drink in the morning which took a while for the water to boiled. Then we meet up with the rest of the guy’s at 10am had some fresh made croissant which Louise went and got for us, setting off at that time the sun was already beaming on us and I had to soak my cycling cap with water, the best idea I’ve ever done.
We took the Avenue verte route, we was under the shade half of the time it was just a straight bike route with no car’s and every mile or so we came across to a junction saw our support car there just incase we needed some refill on our drink’s. Our riding pace was so good none of us felt tired just feeding each others energy, we rode into the next town to have a break which reached the end of the Avenue verte route and from there we had to ride along the main road’s. All I remember at this point was just open filed’s and then riding till we came to the next town, that ride wasn’t short at all and the road didn’t seem to end. The last town we stop till we was near Paris was so nice and people was so kind, we had some food to eat at their local bakery and the price was cheap for a long baguette. While eating there was a guy on his bike just going around the square doing lap’s, was he the only messenger for that town? Well moving on, this was the only big town we was stopping so the rest of the way will be only a quick stop. The road’s wasn’t good I had a puncher while going up the hill, so we had to fixed and move on, like I said road’s did not end it became more open and it felt like every car’s that went passed hated us, big lorries going beside us over taking and almost hitting some car’s on the over side of the road.
There was some hill’s that came by, but riding all day the hill’s became an object that wasn’t good to come along, I remember we had to stop and wait when we went over it because Alex was left be-hide and the only shade that was there was these corn field tall as me, so I just sat down next to it just hiding till we saw Alex coming up. When we was near Paris the motor way gave us 3 to 4 lane’s it was kinda busy and we had to be careful to which exit we went out of. It was getting dark and everyone was getting tired till we saw these big building in front of us suddenly out of no where everyone had that energy when you just got on your bike and just started to ride, it was so cool but for me it didn’t kick in that I was in Paris, I was too busy trying to think am I on the right side of the road. It suddenly hit me when we stopped at Arc de Triomphe, that we was in Paris. We arrived at Eiffel Tower to meet the guy’s and girl’s from Paris Chill Racing, the tower lit up and turned into gold that moment was so amazing, that was our trophy of getting to Paris.
Me and Ren stayed in the hotel and the rest stayed in their friends place, the next day me and Ren met Andy and Rob at the Bicycle store where Simon works, a good friend of Andys. It’s on Boulevard Beaumarchais a real cool place to get good bikes/components and clothes too, from there we just rode around Paris. Me and Ren still adapting to the road and how thing’s works, at the same time trying to enjoy the city. We checked out Colette and saw whats good over there then meet up with the rest guys to go at a shop called Starcow it’s a little shop that stocks up street brand’s names, nice staff thats working there too. If you want to check them out its at rue St-Honore.
After dinner we then meet up with Simon, following his moped around these crazy road’s to meet the PCR that made an event that night in their local bar and put up a gold sprint for all of to race on. The vibes were so good everyone just laughing and Alex just catching up with old friends and us making new friends, we were looking and talking about bike’s. After all that fun in the bar Simon took us to another place which was more near to the river next to Pont Alexendre 3 bridge. Getting there was fun as some road’s was close for Tour de france, so there was car’s trying to get into small gaps so they can get going but little did they know there was a few fixed gear riders getting into them gap’s. The place we went use to be a road going along side the river but this year it got turned into a bar and food place where people can hang out and chill, it was a good scenery.
Sunday came and this day was an early start but the night before I think everyone got home in the early morning. But me and Ren had fun checking place’s out and riding around Paris was so good the road’s are bigger. Drivers over there are the same as here but they don’t go up in your face and start screming their heads off. We came to this road called Rue de Rivoli it’s one straight road with 4 lane’s and traffic lights all the way down, but trust me when you hit the green light going down this road the next light turns green and so on, you could just see every light changing green as you go along, riding the wave of green light’s.
We was waiting for the rest of the PCR to do a picnic lunch, every one got there late but we got to watch the peloton came into Paris, I think it took them 8 minute’s to go around for a lap. After 8 lap’s we didn’t want to stay around just because we knew it will be hard to get out of there.
One thing about Paris that I found hard was looking for good food or somewhere to eat on late hour’s. Most evening me and Ren would be searching somewhere to eat. That’s all about the trip, Monday some of the guy’s went home to London. Everyone came back with a good tan!
Photo credit: Mikey Ramirez/Charles Nicholson