Thursday 30th August 2018
Eltham Palace: Court Yard, Greenwich, United Kingdom
30th August - 3rd September 2018
Our cycling events will allow you to experience the feeling of a fully supported professional cycling event with speed groups to suit your ability, so whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro there is no better place to cycle with than The Royal British Legion.
Our Pedal to Paris bike continues to be one of the best-loved charity rides around, with cyclists coming back year after year. Setting off from London, you take four days to cover 460 kilometres, through beautiful English and French countryside. Once in France we coordinate rolling road closures so you are able to cycle without having to think about traffic, junctions or red lights. From Calais right into the heart of Paris you’ll be safely escorted by our team of motorcycle outriders. Stopping in Calais, Abbeville and Beauvais you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the people of those towns. Bask in the star treatment as you cycle through the streets of Paris closed especially for you – one of the only bike rides other than the Tour de France offering you this privilege. Cycling up to the Arc de Triomphe is an experience you will never forget.
It is the ultimate challenge, and you’ll need to put in the training to make the most of this amazing event, but we’ll help you every step of the way with our expert team of mechanics, medics and sports physios – from the day you sign up until the end of this adventure.
Day 1: London to Calais (129km).
Leave the capital bright and early from Greenwich Park, escorted by our motorbike outriders you will be heading for the coast through some of rural Kent's finest scenery.
Refuel at The Royal British Legion Village in Aylesford and lunch in the village of Sellindge before sweeping down to Dover harbour in time to catch your ferry and have dinner en-route to Calais. Then relax in your hotel and enjoy a well-earned rest after your longest day in the saddle.
Day 2: Calais to Abbeville (120.9km).
A moving ceremony at the Calais war memorial begins our first day in France. After laying a wreath of Remembrance, set off south-west through the beautiful undulating fields and open countryside of the Pas de Calais region. Cycling is the national sport of France, and you’ll receive a warm welcome with locals cheering and waving you on your way.
Rolling road-closures and our fleet of support vehicles make sure you need stop for no-one as you cycle to ancient Desvres for lunch. After lunch you will pass through the picturesque villages of Roussent and Crécy-en-Ponthieu. Our final leg of the day will bring you to the stunning town of Abbeville, which lies on the River Somme. Abbeville suffered badly in a German air raid in World War 2, but its beautiful Flemish-style architecture is still in evidence.
Day 3: Abbeville to Beauvais (106.9km).
Following a rousing send-off from the people of Abbeville, we continue our cycling by heading south through the Somme region. The Somme is remembered for the terrible battles of the First World War and the beautiful countryside is studded with cemeteries and other poignant reminders of the thousands of men who lost their lives. You will continue through the Oise Region of Picardie and in the afternoon there will be a special reception at the small village of Auchy La Montagne, where each year the villagers give us a wonderful welcome in thanks for their liberation by the British Forces in the Second World War.
The day ends with a ceremony at the war memorial in Beauvais followed by a drinks reception at the Fire Station, before coaches take you to your hotels.
Day 4: Beauvais to Paris (100.8km).
Enjoy the mounting sense of anticipation as you leave Beauvais for the final stretch to Paris. After lunch, you will merge together into one massive peloton for your triumphant entry into Paris.
From the outskirts of the city, Paris police accompany you, sirens blaring, as you wind through city streets to your final destination. Your first view of the Arc de Triomphe as you turn the corner is a magical moment that you will never forget. We are the only bike ride other than the Tour De France the roads around the Arc are closed for and cycling around this iconic monument with 300 other cyclists is a thrilling end to your unforgettable adventure.
But it's not quite over yet. Before celebrations begin you will, as a group, parade up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the iconic Arc. During a poignant ceremony, cycling becomes secondary for a few minutes as we remember all those in our Armed Forces who are away from home serving their country - some of them in difficult and dangerous surroundings. What better way to "Stand shoulder to shoulder with all who Serve"?
As your bike heads back to London, you travel by coach to your hotel.
In the evening is all about celebration as we will toast your fantastic achievements at a celebratory dinner!
Day 5: Paris to London.
There's no rush and no Lycra today. Just a leisurely breakfast and the Eurostar trains back to London, if you want some time to enjoy Paris and visit the landmarks you were cycling by the day before. What took you four days to cover in the saddle will flash past in less than four hours! Your bike will be waiting for you at St Pancras on your return.
The Royal British Legion
199 Borough High Street, London
Phone: 020 3207 2273