London2Paris: One Week to Go

Only one week to go before I hop on my bike with 26 other UKTV colleagues and cycle the 270 miles from London to Paris over 3 consecutive days.
My bike

My lovely new bike at Welwyn North

It all started towards the end of last year. An email went round asking if anyone would like to join in a sponsored cycle from London to Paris in aid of our corporate charity, which this year happens to be Pancreatic Cancer UK. It sounded like a bit of an adventure and after the success of cycling in the Olympics I’d been looking for an excuse to jump on the Wiggo-inspired bandwagon.

I bought a new road bike in January (my hybrid wouldn’t really suit such a long slog) and started training, clocking up around 80 miles a week. Almost immediately I was hooked.

Although I’d could happily play football all day every day, I’d never really enjoyed running and could never really motivate myself to regularly get to the gym, cycling is different and has turned into a great way for me to get some extra exercise. The adrenaline rush from moving at speed along, the ever changing landscape to occupy your mind and the regular rhythm of pedaling send you into a strange trance. Time seems to hurry past.

Deer at Richmond Park

Richmond Park is the perfect training location. A road loops around the edge of the park with a decent surface by London’s standards. Although the road is open to car traffic it is limited to 20mph and the cars seem to be fairly aware of the cyclists that flock there. A single loop of 6.8 miles takes me just over 21 minutes at a sprint – about 25 minutes at an average pace.

The red and fallow deer that the park is famous for are also a constant delight. It’s rare to see any wildlife bar foxes and pigeons in London, so the sight of a large herd of deer so close to the hustle-and-bustle is quite a treat. I would recommend the journey (by bike or train!) down there.
So, to the actual event.
We set off from Greenwich at 7.30am on Thursday morning, firstly heading to Dover. A short ferry and the night in Calais and we then head down to Paris with one night in Amiens along the way.
GoPro

I will be filming the event using a GoPro we have acquired which has provided some stunning imagery of our training. It has proved to not be as indestructible as you are led to believe though. In training the arm snapped when tested against a particularly strong headwind (see below). GoPro, to their credit did replace the part though. Let’s hope it lasts to Paris.

If you would like to sponsor us, please head to our JustGiving page, we are aiming for £20,000, with the total at 80% of that so far. Any sum towards our aim would be greatly appreciated. You can also keep track of any developments using #UKTVLondon2Paris on Twitter.

Update: The Ride Itself

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