Greene King London to Paris 2017

5 - 9 July 2017

You'll cover more than 480k in just four days and take on long days in the saddle and some strenuous hill-climbs. But the sight of the Eiffel Tower, our finishing point, will evoke a sense of achievement that you can't beat.

The London to Paris Cycling Challenge is one of Europe’s iconic bike rides.

Registration fee is £150 with a minimum sponsorship of £1,600

Along the way you will test your limits, make new and lasting friendships, see stunning scenery and have a fantastic time. You'll also be safe in the knowledge that your challenge will be helping Macmillan improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

Read our FAQs

What do I have to do to take part?

Simply pay a £150 non-refundable registration fee when you sign up online. We then ask you to pledge to raise a minimum sponsorship of £1,600 which covers your full costs. Please see below for what is and is not included.

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How old do I need to be?

You need to be 18 or over on event day.

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What's included?

  • Ferry crossing 
  • All meals other than dinner on the ferry, dinner on day four and lunch/dinner on day five
  • Four nights in a 2/3* hotel (The hotels are comfortable and well-situated, but not luxurious. All rooms are twin rooms and all have ensuite facilities)
  • Return transportation to London via the Eurostar
  • Full support with Discover Adventure leaders/medical staff, drivers and cooks.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support representative

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What's not included?

  • Insurance: Our tour operator, Discover Adventure Ltd, offer insurance specifically created to cover you for the activity you will be undertaking
  • You need to use your own bike and have a helmet and high visibility jacket
  • Four meals: Dinner on the ferry on day one, dinner upon arrival in Paris and lunch and dinner on your free day in Paris
  • We also recommend you take around £100 - £150 for personal expenses

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What sort of person takes part?

The group will be made up of around 60, men and women from Greene King. It will be great fun to cycle alongside colleagues and also to meet new people along the way.

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Where will we stay while cycling?

Throughout the challenge we'll be staying in 2/3* hotels. These can be quite basic, but are clean and functional. We will stay in twin rooms, so if you are travelling on your own we will pair you up with a room buddy of the same sex and a similar age.

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Do I have to carry my own kit?

We will be accompanied by support vehicles which carry all equipment and supplies. However, you'll have to carry a small rucksack or CamelBak to hold anything you will need during the day’s ride.

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Am I fit enough?

Macmillan challenges are designed to suit people who lead an active lifestyle. If you do not already cycle on a very regular basis you'll need to commit to a considerable amount of training during the preceding months. This is all part of the challenge. A full training programme will be included in your fundraising pack.

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What's the route like?

The cycling on this challenge is varied but mainly undulating. Some days are very hilly, others are flatter and faster. Each day has different challenges. Distances vary between 90km to 130km. We mainly ride on small country roads where traffic is light.

The route is clearly marked although maps will be provided. Support vehicles will be stationed at the front and rear of the group with one roving up and down. This enables participants to cycle at their own pace, although there will be breaks during the day where everyone regroups.

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Do I have to bring my own bike?

Neither Macmillan nor Discover Adventure are able to provide bikes for this trip, so you must bring your own. We recommend that you ride a road bike/racing bike as the route takes place over long distances on well-surfaced roads.

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What happens if I can’t raise £1,600

The £1,600 fundraising target ensures that at least 60% of donations come directly to Macmillan to be spent on our services. So we'll do everything we can to help you reach this target.

You will be provided with a full fundraising pack to get you started, as well as our expert advice and guidance. The full fundraising total will not be due in until one month after the event. If however it looks like you will not reach this target, prior to the event, you'll have the option of transferring onto another challenge at a later date or making up the difference yourself.

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When do I have to pay my sponsorship by?

We ask for all sponsorship to be paid to Macmillan four weeks after the event has taken place. However, we will require at least £600 of your sponsorship three months prior to the event before we confirm your travel arrangements. Supporters have informed us that they find it easier to fundraise before the challenge takes place.

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How will my participation benefit people affected by cancer?

At least 60% of the £1,600 pledged minimum sponsorship will be treated as a donation to Macmillan. If you raise over £1,600 the entire surplus will benefit the charity.

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Can my partner/family come with me?

All participants in the event must cycle and fundraise to join the trip. Friends and family are welcome to meet you in Paris at the end of the challenge and are able to join us for the celebration meal on the final night, although they will be required to pay for their drinks.

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Can I meet up with my fellow participants before the trip?

Although Macmillan doesn’t currently organise training rides, we would encourage you to meet up with your fellow cyclists prior to the challenge. It's also a great way to boost your training. We will pass on contact details of others taking part (that have given us permission to do so) and you can also meet fellow Macmillan cyclists on our Facebook page.

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Who organises the trip?

The trip is conceived and operated by Discover Adventure Ltd, ATOL 5636, whose booking conditions apply.

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How much will it cost Macmillan?

Your registration fee of £150, plus the first £1,600 of sponsorship, will be paid by Macmillan on your behalf to our tour operator, Discover Adventure, for the costs of your participation.

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Itinerary of the trek

Itinerary

Your five-day itinerary for the 2016 London to Paris cycling challenge.

Day 1, London-Dover

An early start from South London sees us head off with a tough day's cycling. We head through the outskirts of London onto quieter roads and it’s not long before we are among the hills and villages of rural Kent along country roads to Dover and the coast. Leaving the white cliffs behind us, we take an afternoon ferry across the channel to Calais where we spend our first night. (Lunch included, cyclists buy their own dinner on the ferry).

Approx Cycling Distance: 145km

Day 2, Calais - Arras

After a hearty breakfast in Calais we head south. Starting off fairly flat, our ride continues as we peddle through beautiful rural landscapes and quiet back roads. The ride gets more undulating as the day continues until we reach Arras, our well deserved final destination for the day.

Approx Cycling Distance: 125km

Day 3, Arras - Compiègne

After a couple of hard days in the saddle, our legs may be feeling a little weary this morning as we head South once more. Today we travel through villages and along quiet French roads to the more forested region around the attractive town of Compiègne, where we spend the night. Compiègne is nestled on the banks of the River Oise, giving our location for the evening a stunning backdrop.

Approx Cycling Distance: 125km

Day 4, Compiègne - Paris

Our final day’s cycling takes us South West initially through small villages and woodland before we meet the Parisian suburbs. From this point the traffic increases, but our destination and the finish is in sight. We cycle though the Parisian streets around the Arc de Triumph to our finish beneath the lofty arches of the Eiffel Tower. The evening gives us the chance to congratulate ourselves with a well deserved drink or two.

Approx Cycling Distance: 90km

Day 5, Paris-London

After breakfast we are free for the day to explore the city. In the afternoon we board the Eurostar train to return to St Pancras station.

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