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This September, cyclists from across the affiliate industry will be taking part in one epic challenge; cycling from London to Paris in 24 hours. Ahead of the event we chatted to Simon Adams, owner of Long Leg Tours – the cycle company facilitating the event- to find out more about what those taking part can expect and how they can prepare for the challenge.
Can you tell us a bit about Long Leg Tours and what inspired you to set it up?
Long Leg Tours was set up just over two years ago by myself. I used to own a business selling building materials but wanted a more rewarding job. After a family member sadly passed away from cancer, myself and another guy decided to ride from London to Paris to raise funds for the hospital that cared for him. After we completed the epic ride and following the loss of a relative, I felt like life was too short to stay in a job that was unfulfilling and that I would love to help others to achieve similar challenges.
What does the London2Paris ride mean to you?
London to Paris rides are great, it is such an iconic challenge riding from one capital to the next. London and Paris are hectic cities but the countryside we pass through in-between is outstanding. Every time I support this ride it reminds me of the first time I did it and how it made me feel, the extremes of being utterly exhausted but elated to have made the journey. It is especially rewarding when you ride the route with others as you support and encourage each other through the tough times and share in the memories afterwards.
Our team will be undertaking the London2Paris Bike route in 24 hours. What can the riders expect from this challenge?
We start the ride by heading out of London in small groups. The riders will soon find themselves in the countryside along quiet country roads. After riding around 30 miles we re-group and have a quick drink at a small village pub, before we push on to the port of Newhaven. It’s a great feeling when you first see the sea knowing the first part of our adventure is complete. We board the ferry together and this is quite a unique experience. After a few hours rest on the ferry we arrive in the town of Dieppe. As we leave the ferry you will notice how nice it is to ride in France, the roads are good, quiet and the drivers are courteous to cyclists. Our next stop is in a small traditional French village for freshly baked croissants. After another quick stop we soon head towards the outskirts of Paris and you will feel spurred on knowing the end is near. At the final stop we regroup and take the opportunity to grab refreshments and to change shoes before setting off on our last leg towards the final destination-The Eiffel Tower!
What training tips can you give our riders?
Train whenever you can, everyone has busy lives but it’s important to get a longer ride in each week. Riding a few miles every day can really help, so commuting to and from work can be a bonus. Try to vary your training, shorter rides with high intensity and longer riders with lower intensity. Cycling with others is always good as you can work together when battling a head wind. Plan your routes before you go out and if you’re on a longer ride plan a stop at a coffee shop that offers great cakes!
Do you have any other top tips for our riders taking part in the event?
- Do as many long rides as possible before you go
- Ensure your bike is in good working order
- Don’t push too hard in the UK the terrain is a bit bumpy
- Get up a few minutes early on the ferry to grab a coffee and a snack before setting off in France
- Enjoy the ride and take in the scenery
- Drink plenty
- Keep eating, have a small snack every hour while riding
- Stop along the ride for the occasional photo
- Ride in small groups this really helps when going into the wind
What motivates you to cycle?
I have always loved cycling and always the best Christmas presents when I was a child were when I got a new bike. I cycle for many different reasons now, including the health benefits. The best reason is that I really enjoy the freedom and the challenge it provides and miss it if I don’t get out on my bike for a few days, so whether it’s a 100 miler on my road bike or a ride to the park with the kids, I love it!
Finally, what’s your go to fuel for a long cycle?
A good breakfast is very important, then topping up with energy drinks and flapjack always works for me. After a training ride be sure to stock up on protein rich foods, tuna is my go to recovery food.
>>SUPPORT OUR RIDERS CYCLING FROM LONDON2PARIS FOR THE BHF AND DONATE TODAY.