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Nestle London to Paris Cycle Challenge Thursday 18th April to Sunday 21st April 2013 The information contained in this document is an overview of an exciting and demanding cycle challenge to be run by Eight Point Two in 2013 for Nestle on behalf of Action for Children. The London to Paris cycle challenge travels from the O2 Arena in London to Dover and then through beautiful French countryside via Arras, Compiegne and finally in to Paris. The event will involve 4 days of cycling and 3 nights’ accommodation, however, a 4th nights stopover in Paris is also a possibility if you would like to stay on and savour the delights of Paris. Riders will complete approximately 300 miles of cycling and will be supported by cycling guides, support vehicle and cycle mechanic/driver. The support vehicle will carry competitor’s luggage between accommodation stops. The support vehicle will also carry two spare cycles and a limited range of spare parts to deal with minor maintenance difficulties during the course of the challenge. The driver of the support vehicle will also be a cycle mechanic and will be able to deal with certain on-road repairs. Nonetheless, it is the riders responsibility to ensure that their bicycles are fully roadworthy and in a condition suitable for a challenge of this nature. We have ridden every mile of the proposed route to ensure that we enjoy the finest cycling through England and France. Joining details will be sent 1 month prior to the ride start date. Event Difficulty Rating We have given this event a 3/4*** rating (out of a possible 5). You will need to be fit and used to repeated days on a bike. Booking Each rider needs to have filled in a valid booking form. These are available online at Eight Point Two. Who can take part? We have a minimum age of 18 (unless accompanied by a parent/guardian) but no maximum ages. Needless to say the event will feel much easier if you have done some training before hand and you should always get checked out by your GP to make sure that you are ‘fit enough’. What is included? The price includes accommodation throughout the duration of the trip on a sharing basis i.e. you will be required to share a room with another participant. Breakfast and Dinner is also supplied throughout the trip (except for Dinner on ferry on the 1st evening). Transport, including ferries and Eurostar, to and from France is included in the price. There will be a ride leader who cycles with the group but each member of the team will be supplied with a route map and route plan along the fully signed route. There will also be the obligatory support vehicle for bike emergencies and luggage. Day 1 – Early registration then start cycling at 7am from Greenwich towards Rochester. Ferry to Calais then short ride to accommodation. Please note that this will be a late arrival so cyclists should eat (at their own expense) on the ferry crossing. Accommodation is in Ibis Hotel, Calais. Day 2 - Cycle to Arras along quiet country lanes. Breakfast and dinner included – accommodation is in Ibis Hotel, Arras. Day 3 - Cycle Arras to Creil Sur Oise (near Compiegne) passing war memorials and monuments of WWI . Breakfast and dinner included – accommodation is in Ibis Hotel, Creil Sur Oise. Day 4 - Cycle Creil Sur Oise to Paris, and finish underneath the Eiffel Tower. Cyclists can then either return to UK via Euro Star or stay in Paris (accommodation and Dinner included) Day 5 - Free morning in Paris, before catching the Eurostar to London What's Not Included? Lunches. Transport to London. Accommodation in London on the evening before the ride begins. Personal travel insurance. Bike Hire. We would recommend that participants bring a small amount of Euros to cover food/snacks etc Route Notes: LONDON - CALAIS Distance 82.3 Miles + 5 miles in Calais to accommodation (87.3 in total) Overview Today is a long day! The first third of the route (in the UK) follows the river Thames out of London. The route follows both the Thames footpath and the National Cycle Network 1(NCN 1) and is signposted from the O2 arena. The route is extremely well signposted, though the route does meander in to a few small built up areas, and the general rule is to keep the Thames on your left as you go! The track on this section is generally very good but there are a few uneven and muddy sections – however a road bike is absolutely fine! The middle section of the route follows the A2 for a significant stretch to Faversham. This is a relatively busy stretch but easy to navigate! The final section in to Dover diverts on to quiet country lanes. This section is very pretty but there are a significant number of hills – some of them are quite steep! Finally, once off the ferry we have 5 miles to cycle to the Hotel!! You will need lights and a reflective vest (French law). Timings 6.20am arrive O2 for 7am departure. All luggage to be loaded into 8.2 van and bikes must be ready for 7am. Ferry time is aprox 6pm. CALAIS – ARRAS Distance 73.4 Miles Overview Today is a much less complicated day with only 1 moderately awkward area of navigation around St Omer. The route follows a very direct line. Firstly, we head towards Guines, then Bremes before taking a direct line to St Omer. St Omer is the only complicated spot but it is a beautiful French town! After St Omer we join a very long and straight road which runs direct to Arras. Throughout the day there are a number of ascents and descents to be made and we also pass by a number of historical sites. Timings: 8.30am departure. All luggage to be loaded into 8.2 van and bikes must be ready for 9.20am. ARRAS – CREIL Distance 80.4 Miles Overview Navigation is a little awkward when leaving Arras but once you are on the right road things soon make sense. The route initially follows the D917 South to Bapaume before picking up the D1017 to Peronne and then on to Roye and finally St Martin Longueau where we join the D200 west bound which leads us directly to our Hotel in Villers St Paul. Timings: 8.30am departure. All luggage to be loaded into 8.2 van and bikes must be ready for 8.15am. CREIL - PARIS Distance 58.5 Miles Terrain A fantastic day with a mixture of everything! Fairly busy roads lead us on to the Canal path which leads us in to Paris – then it’s a deep breath before we head in to the busy Paris centre. Fortunately we are following cycle paths through Paris but its VERY busy for the last 5 miles through the city centre. Not many hills! Overview The day starts with us re tracing our steps for a few miles before we rejoin the D1017 heading South towards Senlis. Once through Senlis we carry on heading South then East past the Northern end of the Charles De Gaule airport. Navigating this section you will find yourself on some surprising sections (short section of off road on a forest track). Once past the airport we follow the D212 to an industrial estate/village called Gressy. From here we leave the roads for 15 miles following the Canal de l’ourcq right in to the heart of Paris. Excellent cycle lanes beside the canal provide a welcome respite from the traffic. Finally, we have just 5 miles through the centre of Paris before we reach our destination underneath the Eiffel tower! Timings: 8.30am departure. All luggage to be loaded into 8.2 van and bikes must be ready for 8.15am. OPTIONS: Return directly back to UK or stay a further night in Paris. All returns via Eurostar. BIKES AND EQUIPMENT. We recommend a road or hybrid style bike. It should be comfortable and well looked after – get it serviced at a local bike store if you are unsure yourself – there are a few steep descents so you don’t want your brakes failing! If you feel that you may be slow then you may need lights! Lights and luminous vests are a legal requirement when cycling at night in France. Please note that although we will be able to assist with small repairs along the route 8.2 have no responsibility towards your bikes and equipment throughout the ride. All repairs undertaken externally will be done at your own cost so we strongly suggest that your bike is well maintained. Bike spares You should bring basic equipment for minor repairs of your bikes i.e. puncture kit/spare inner tubes etc. These are essential items as we cannot guarantee that we will have every size and design of spares to accommodate every bike in the group. Waterproof layers Participants should be aware that the weather, even in the better months, can be wet and windy in the Peak District. A windproof and waterproof jacket and trousers should be considered. Clothing Eight Point Two recommend that all participants follow the principle of layering. A number of clothing layers is preferable to one substantial fleece or equivalent. A warm hat and gloves are also important. We would recommend cycle shorts – they make a big difference! Cycling gloves are also a good idea for warmth and comfort. Other things to bring: Food (lunch will not be supplied on the ride) Water (there are opportunities to buy water/drinks along the route but it is good practice to carry water when cycling) Sun glasses Sun block Cycle helmet Mobile Phone Map Spare money – there are a few cafes etc along the route Small first aid kit and medications (if required). Health considerations Completing the challenge is a demanding task. We recommend that you get checked out by your GP before undertaking any physical exercise. We also ask that you make the event leaders from 8.2 aware if you have any medical issues which we should know of.
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