Day 1: London-Dover-Calais
Starting from Blackheath, we pass through the outskirts of London and into the rolling fields and villages of rural Kent, passing orchards and traditional oast houses. We follow country roads across the hills of the North Downs all the way to the white cliffs of Dover, and our ferry crossing to Calais. On arrival in France there will be a short ride (approx five miles) to our hotel where we can put our feet up after our longest day in the saddle.
Day 2: Calais-Abbeville
After a hearty breakfast we head south from Calais and into the beautiful rural landscapes of northern France. We pass through ancient Desvres, renowned for its pottery, and after lunch we reach the valleys of the Canche River and cross over towards Crécy-en-Ponthieu – the site of the 14th-century Battle of Crécy. Our final leg this afternoon brings us to the town of Abbeville, which lies on the River Somme. Abbeville suffered badly in a German air raid in World War 2, but its beautiful Flemish-style architecture is still in evidence and its Gothic church has been largely restored to its former glory.
Day 3: Abbeville-Beauvais
Leaving Abbeville behind us we follow the River Somme east out of the town in the direction of Amiens. These lands are remembered for the terrible battles of the First World War and are scattered with cemeteries and other poignant reminders of the thousands of men who died here. Our route soon turns south and we follow shady beech-tree-lined avenues followed by meandering valleys and traditional farming hamlets. Our day ends at Beauvais, a town renowned for its large gothic cathedral.
Day 4: Beauvais-Paris
Our final day’s cycling takes us over the river Théram and south of Beauvais towards Paris. Following small country roads we head towards the small town of Meru and continue through beautiful countryside. As we reach the suburbs of Paris we look out for the distinctive landmarks of the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré Coeur standing out on the skyline. Reaching the suburb of St. Denis we come to the River Seine. From here we head for the Eiffel Tower – our finishing point where we enjoy a great celebration to mark our achievements.
Question: What is my route?
Answer: London, (Blackheath) -Dover-Calais-Abbeville-Beauvais-Paris
Question: Where is my start point for the ride?
Answer: Blackheath SE3 ORW
Question: What time do we need to register and start each day?
Answer: Registration will be open from 05:30hrs on Wednesday 10 September. We will be looking to start between 07:00 and 07.30hrs
Question: What happens to my main luggage whilst on the bike ride?
Answer: Your main luggage will be transported from hotel to hotel throughout the duration of the trip. You will be given a luggage tag for your main bag so that it arrives at the correct hotel. We do ask you to carry a small back pack for all those essentials, like a waterproof jacket, a jumper, extra snacks and your passport when riding.
Question: Where will we be staying?
Answer: Accommodation en route is in 2/3 star hotels, picked for their proximity to the route. The accommodation will be twin share with washing facilities.
Question: Can you tell me the name of the hotel I will be staying at in Paris?
Answer: At this stage we are unable to confirm your hotel in Paris. In May you will receive an Event Manual that will detail your hotel in Paris including the address and contact number just in case you need it if you're planning on booking family and friends in.
Question: Can you book additional accommodation for my friend and family?
Answer: Unfortunately not. If you have family and friends looking to join you at the finish in Paris you will need to book separate accommodation for them.
Question: I’m worried that I might get lost
Answer: You will get a briefing every day to let you know what to expect and to give you a rough idea of where you are going to be heading that day. In addition you will receive a map of the entire route to help you navigate your way. The route will also be marked with arrows and several support vehicles and staff from Discover Adventure and Action Medical Research will monitor the ride. Please note that unfortunately we are unable to accommodate any additional support vehicles that you may wish to bring along. You will be provided with an emergency telephone number to call if you think you have managed to sneak your way off route!
Question: What happens on the Saturday night when in Paris?
Answer: We will celebrate your achievements with a glass of something special when you arrive in at your hotel in Paris. The evening is free for you to sample the delights of Paris and grab a bite to eat with new found friends.
Question: What happens to our main luggage after the event?
Answer: You will need to hang on to your main luggage. In the past, participants have left their bags at the hotel for the day or in a secure locker at the train station. Either way you will need to bring your entire luggage with you on the Eurostar back to London.
Question: Can you take my bike back to the UK if I decide to stay on in Paris for another day or so?
Answer: We are more than happy to take your bike back to the UK for you but we will need to hand your bike to a family member or friend once back in London at St Pancras. Alternatively you can request to have your bike couriered back to your home address for around £85. This option is limited and will work on a first come first serve basis.
Question: How does my bike get back to the UK?
Answer: The bikes will be transported in trucks back to the UK on Sunday 14 September 2014. These trucks will be leaving early so as to arrive back at St Pancras International Station by the time you get back to London.
Question: Will my bike get damaged?
Answer: Our tour operator Discover Adventure take good care when transporting the bikes back to the UK. The bikes are rugged and are packed in well to limit movement whilst in transit. If you want to bring additional foam tubing for the main frame and forks or a bike bag then that’s fine with us. However PLEASE DO NOT BRING A BIKE BOX as these take up quite a bit of room on the trucks. Bike bags are acceptable.
Question: Can you tell me my Eurostar train I will be on for the return trip to London?
Answer: We will inform you what Eurostar train you are on in the Event Manual that you will receive in May. Please note that we are only able to book for participants taking part on the trip. Any additional bookings must be booked by yourself and under a separate name.
Question: When will I receive my Eurostar ticket?
Answer: We will hand you your Eurostar ticket on Saturday 13 September at your hotel in Paris.
Question: Can I change what time I come back on the Eurostar?
Answer: Unfortunately not unless you are happy to pay for a new ticket. The tickets we have bought have been paid for in advance and are non-transferable or refundable. Please let us know if you are planning on changing your ticket.
Question: Can we purchase additional Eurostar tickets through you?
Answer: No. Any additional Eurostar tickets will need to be booked separately and done independently. We will be able to tell you the train that you will be on a little closer to the time.
Question: Where do I pick up my bike when I arrive back into London?
Answer: When you arrive in London we will guide you to where your bike will be to pick up. Generally this will be just outside the station itself.
Question: Do I need to wear a cycle helmet?
Answer: Yes, you must wear a cycling helmet to take part in an Action Medical Research bike ride.
Question: How much do I have to raise in total?
Answer: We ask you to raise a minimum of £1500 in order to take part on this challenge.
Question: Why do I have to have banked a minimum of £724.00 by 27 June 2014?
Answer: Answer: We need you to have raised and banked a minimum of £724.00 by this date so that we can pay for your place on the challenge. This amount pays for your transport, accommodation and food throughout your trip. Unfortunately if this amount has not been banked by this date you will not be able to take part in this event. If you would like to pay this cost personally then that’s no problem. We are happy to take a credit/debit card payment over the phone or alternatively you can sponsor yourself via your online sponsorship account.