Days 4 & 5 of our London to Paris adventure
Written by Stephen Brooker
Author Stephen Brooker
The last day of cycling in Walsingham Wheelers rampage across Northern France was blessed with bright sunshine and blue skies after a cold and misty start.
There was much faffing about as Paris bags were separated out from bags of smelly kit but we set off on time after another outstanding Ibis breakfast (today even with sausages).
Early navigational mishaps were quickly overcome despite the strong desire of my cycle computer to send us back to the hotel to start all over again.
The cold mist was a useful distraction from aching body parts but the sun had well and truly broken through by the time we at long last stopped at a Creperie for an early lunch. A quick bit of sightseeing of the house where Van Gogh committed suicide followed lunch as we then set off on the long drag through the Parisian suburbs.
There are a lot of traffic lights in Paris!! Lots of stop starts, with Lisa managing a tumble on one occasion as the lights went green.
I was nearly squished as a motor scooter and car collided as they overtook me on a busy central Paris street - a very close thing!
By 1.30 we were at the Eiffel Tower viewing place at the Trocadero, lots of handshaking and team photos before we confirmed our meet time with the rest of our party which MK had been trying to fix as he cycled along.
Fortified by news that Kath had managed to fix return tickets on Eurostar and photos of Mike's early morning beer at the airport we took a final hazardous ride to the foot of the Tower itself to meet our faithful support driver Paul and get stuck into the champagne before the others arrived.
Rob was pretty surprised to be met by her husband Dave, mother and sister.
Yet more team photos before the others arrived with champagne reinforcements, hugs, congratulations and even more photos.
Goodbyes to Paul and our guide Brian were followed by a mad dash to the hotel and back before a quick return trip to the Tower.
Fully reunited with the non cyclists our interesting gallery tour was followed by a great meal in magnificent surroundings.
A few late drinks, nothing too excessive, saw the party fragment before the diehards returned to the hotel after 3 in the morning.
A long day, but great stuff and a fitting end to a great cycle ride which has marked our 30th Anniversary year and raised nearly £4,000 for MacMillan
Day 5 was all about being together as whole Company group and we had a fascinating study tour around Montmartre, again in bright sunshine and summertime temperatures.
After a fine lunch we went the separate ways to our revised travel arrangements home following the unwelcome ntervention of the air France pilot strike which saw the cyclists and Knutsford teams return on Eurostar.