I've wanted to ride to Paris for a few months now but was put off by the hassle of taking a bicycle on the Eurostar, as well having a somewhat philosophical and aesthetic objection to taking a bike on a train in the first place. After all, if one already is possession of a mode of transport...
My itinerary was straightforward:
- Friday 12h00
- London → Newhaven
- Friday 23h00
- Newhaven → Dieppe (ferry)
- Saturday 04h00
- Dieppe → Paris
- Saturday 23h00
- Sunday 07h00
- Paris → Dieppe
- Sunday 18h00
- Dieppe → Newhaven (ferry)
- Sunday 21h00
- Newhaven → Peacehaven
- Sunday 23h00
- Monday 07h00
- Peacehaven → London
- Ferry ticket (unnecessary in the end)
- Credit card
- USB A male → mini A male (charges phone, battery pack & front light)
- USB A male → mini B male (for charging or connecting to Edge 800)
- USB mini A male → OTG A female (for Edge 800 uploads via phone)
- Waterproof pocket
- Sleeping mask for ferry (probably unnecessary)
- Battery pack
- Castelli Gabba Windstopper short-sleeve jersey
- Castelli Velocissimo bib shorts
- Castelli Nanoflex arm warmers
- Castelli Squadra rain jacket
- Garmin Edge 800
- Front light: Lezyne Macro Drive
- Rear lights: Knog Gekko (on bike), Knog Frog (on helmet)
- Inner tubes (X2), Lezyne multitool, tire levers, hand pump
Day 1: London → Newhaven
Day 2: Dieppe → Paris
Day 3: Paris → Dieppe
Day 4: Peacehaven → London
- 588.17 km
- Pedal turns
My only non-obvious tips would be to buy a disposable blanket in the Newhaven Co-Op to help you sleep on the ferry. In addition, as the food on the ferry is good enough you only need to get to the terminal one hour before departure, avoiding time on your feet in unpicturesque Newhaven.
In terms of equipment, I would bring another light for the 4AM start on «L'Avenue Verte» if only as a backup and I would have checked I could arrive at my Parisian Airbnb earlier in the day - I had to hang around for five hours in the heat before I could have a shower, properly relax, etc.
I had been warned not to rely on being able to obtain enough water en route on Sunday but whilst most shops were indeed shut I saw a bustling tabac or boulangerie at least once every 20km so one would never be truly stuck.
Route-wise, the surburbs of London and Paris are both equally dismal and unmotivating and there is about 50km of rather uninspiring and exposed riding on the D915.
However, «L'Avenue Verte» is fantastic even in the pitch-black and the entire trip was worth it simply for the silent and beautiful Normandy sunrise. I will be back.