Section 1: London-Newhaven-Dieppe
We meet in the afternoon at Blackheath Common and set off through the busy outskirts of London on to quieter roads. It’s not long before we’re among rolling fields and villages. Crossing the North Downs, we tackle a number of demanding hills as we ride towards the Kent border. We then enjoy a fairly flat section before the more undulating roads of Sussex. Passing through farmland and small villages on quiet roads lined with hedgerows, we head towards Polegate and the south coast. Our last few miles in England take us on a beautiful rolling road across the South Downs, inland from the famous Seven Sisters. We roll down to the picturesque meandering Cuckmere River and climb again as we ride west towards Newhaven. The light will have faded by now, and we have time for an evening meal before boarding the ferry to Dieppe. On board we have a well-earned rest before we disembark and set off again.
Section 2: Dieppe-Paris
We head southeast, leaving the busy port behind and quickly emerge in to typical French countryside. Passing a few small villages, we ride through the small, 12th-century town of Neufchatel-en-Bray. The roads should be very quiet at this time of the morning as we ride through farmland and pockets of woodland. Apart from an early breakfast stop, we plough on through the dark early hours, ticking off the miles towards Paris. This section of our ride is fairly hilly, though generally the gradients are long and gradual with some well-earned descents. As we near the town of Sainte-Genevieve, we have a wonderful long downhill for approx 12km. We ride through more peaceful farmland and villages, but they soon give way to busier suburbs as we approach Paris after lunch. Looking out for the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré Coeur standing out on the skyline, we come to the suburb of St. Denis and the River Seine. We follow the river’s southern esplanade as it turns towards the city, and then peel off towards central Paris and the lofty Eiffel Tower, where our finish awaits.
We should arrive mid-afternoon, and after celebrating our achievements and photos at the Eiffel Tower we’ll head to the hotel before gathering together in the evening to celebrate!