My journey – DAY 1
On the 30th March I woke up at 6am and attached my rucksack to the back of my bike. Feeling extremely nervous I cycled down to Brighton Pier to meet the group of people I was going to cycle to Paris with. All 12 of us set off for Newhaven and were on the ferry to Dieppe by 10. We arrived in Dieppe and spent the first day cycling on a beautiful old railway line down to Bray, now a cycling path. The weather was good and we were feeling confident, until the clouds went grey and a rainstorm began. We continued to cycle and I remember losing all feeling in my toes and fingers. After another hour cycling in the rain we found shelter under a railway bridge and ate some glucose packs to re-energize. After a short break we continued to our first stop, where we slept for the night.
I woke up after only managing to sleep for a couple of hours, mainly due to nerves. After a café au lait and crossiant we set off, weary eyed for day 2. We cycled through the beautiful rural countryside of Northern France, with lots of hills farms and forests. The weather held up well besides an hour or twos rain, but was nowhere near as bad as the first day. We treated ourselves to a lovely hotel with a pool and had a swim after my legs began cramping up. We had dinner and went to sleep, ready for another big day of cycling.
Didn’t sleep again last night, managed to nod off for about 3 hours. Normally good at sleeping so struggling with over tiredness. But ready for the last day of cycling! 55 miles to Paris. On this day we encountered the hardest hills of the entire trip, with one hill taking about an hour of solid cycling to make it to the top. We were absolutely exhausted but spirits were not dampened, and when we reached the edge of Paris and saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time it felt incredible. What an amazing sight. We arrived in Paris that evening.
Throughout the whole trip I only managed to suffer 2 bike punctures, and survived one of the heaviest rainstorms I’ve ever witnessed.
Words by Emilia Gill – JAGS Researcher
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