Our final day’s cycling took us south west initially through small villages and woodland before heading towards the Parisian suburbs.Todays parcour would be more gentle than the previous days in the saddle but the weather would turn it’s hand against us again today with sudden downpours making the roads treacherous. At least it wasn’t as hot as previous days and the run in to Paris flew by.
On entering the outskirts of Paris the traffic increases, but the finish is now close by. The sun had decided to come out as we hit the suburban streets and it is in these parts where you see the real Paris. It is after all a busy, over populated city with it’s own social problems, much like anywhere else but this was an eye opener, with piles of rubbish left out on the roads.
Our first rendezvous was a small park in the centre of Paris for the riders to regroup. Cycling through the centre of Paris in small groups is a challenge in itself but cyclists do seem to be given plenty of room and respect on the roads. For some of us we had a little while to wait for everyone on the road to catch up before we continue our journey though the Parisian streets.
Once all together we left the park en-masse, all 141 cyclists together, along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to cheers from the public, around the Arc de Triumph to our finish beneath the Eiffel Tower. On the approach to our finish we could see a few that had made the journey to greet us but as the road opened out we were welcomed by a huge number of friends, family and those who were just passing by.
A celebratory drink and photo shoot follows before we navigate the streets again to find our hotel. Another 10km on to the route for the day (as we got lost) before our well deserved celebration dinner.
Approx Cycling Distance: 100km due to a few too many wrong turns!
A fantastic achievement, truly memorable ride, with many new found friends. Everyone on the ride had a reason to be there, to give their time to try and help Macmillan Cancer Support. Reaching the finish line was an emotional experience and one I want to repeat next year. Yes I will be signing up to ride L2P 2015, a great event and all for such a worthy cause.