We are off on a recce this weekend for our new London to Paris route via the Portsmouth to Caen ferry crossing to sort out water stops, lunch stops and hotels. This led me to thinking about past London to Paris cycle rides and I found this poem written by one of the challengers on the Newhaven to Dieppe route:
London to Paris, it’s time to start
Crystal Palace steps, we depart
One hundred and eighty miles, a long distance yet
All determined to finish, the challenge is set.
Wind and rain lash, torrential downpour
Slowing our progress, punctures galore
Cycling to Newhaven, regrouping to meet
Catching our ferry, day one complete.
Day two, Dieppe we leave behind
Sweeping across France, its drivers kind
Tooting as passing by our peleton
Undulating roads rolling on and on.
Stages defined by the top of a hill
Gazebo awaiting, for us to refill
Serving drinks and energy bars aplenty
Ensuring we’re never running on empty.
Expert organisation, Expedition Wise,
All problems solved, whatever their size
Ensuring that no one needs to ask
To ride in the van, all complete the task
Rising early, it’s now day three
France is sleeping, we ride for Paree
Bois de Bologne, now it’s only an hour
Forming our chain to the Eiffel Tower
For the Railway Children we don our kit
For those less fortunate will benefit
Through the efforts of colleagues from far and wide
Completing the London to Paris bike ride.