At least 13 RCC members were amongst the 42 riders who rode to Paris over 3, 2 or 1 day.
The two dayers, led by our Chair, Adrian, and supported ably by Alison Steel left Redhill at 5 am on Friday to enjoy breakfast in Newhaven before catching the 11 am ferry. Six of us were amongst the 12 who set off from the Shard at 4 that afternoon. Brian led a fast team while the rest of us preceded at a slower (more sensible?) pace. Unluckily, one of our number (Mike Connick) fell off in Mitcham and was taken to A & E. Fortunately he only suffered cuts and bruises and a buckled front wheel; no bones broken. The consequent delay meant we did not have time for dinner in Newhaven before catching the 11 pm ferry. En route, in Redhilll, another 6 riders joined us.
I was fortunate in that I had a cabin berth and could get 3 hours sleep. Those who had relied on booking a cabin on board were disappointed and had to hunker down in a reclining chair.
We left Dieppe in the dark at 4:30 am. The next time we saw Brian and crew was in the hotel bar in Paris. After a stop for bacon butties, supplied by a wonderful support crew, we carried on to Gournay. The subsequent leg to Gisors (for coffee and patisserie) is through small lanes and villages mostly along a river valley and is for me the the highlight of the ride.
We then had a lumpy section, again through small villages and quiet lanes. Half way up one of hills we passed Frank Grainger leading his crew of 3 day riders. A great lunch, laid out by the support, awaited us at Wy-dit-le-joli-village. We arrived just as Adrian's bunch were leaving. Well refreshed and the worst of the hills behind us, we pressed on to the banks of the Seine.
After seven miles along the river we hit the Paris suburbs and the final leg through traffic to the Trocadero.
A wonderful experience; I cannot wait for the ride next year although I think that I will join Adrian in a less stressful two day jaunt.