French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

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Cagger
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French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby Cagger » 17 Oct 2016, 7:26am

Hi, I'm a member of a Paris-based bike club http://bmareuil-cyclo.levallois.pagesperso-orange.fr/ which is planning a ride from Paris to London, probably in the first week or so of June next year.

I've been tasked with trying to sort out the UK side it. As you can imagine, the French side is intended to follow the Avenue Verte to Dieppe and then the boat to Newhaven.

I'm trying to get some information about the quality of the Greenway from Newhaven to London. I understand that it isn't very good – certainly as far as road bikes go and I could use some advice as to possible routes keeping as far as possible to good quality cycle paths or small scenic routes.

Also, are there any particular rules in the UK about marking arrows or other signs on the road surface?

I'm not entirely sure of the length of the route which is required yet. So far as I can make out, a direct route is about 120 km. They may prefer to do Newhaven to Brighton and then north but this still has to be discussed. I'm just as a stage at the moment of gathering information generally so that the people who have to decide have all their options in front of them.

I can't imagine that this is going to be a very big ride. Probably not more than 20 cyclists.

Any more information I should be asking for at this point? Anything else I should know?

Thanks
Last edited by Cagger on 17 Oct 2016, 3:21pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Norman H
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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby Norman H » 17 Oct 2016, 9:06am

You can download gpx files here

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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby Cagger » 17 Oct 2016, 10:21am

Thanks for taking the time to post this response. I'm well aware of the GPX files but unfortunately they don't really answer any of my questions
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mercalia
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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby mercalia » 17 Oct 2016, 10:36am

I assume you have googled it? no good?

eg

http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/where-to-go/avenue-verte-london-paris.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/activity-and-adventure/Cycling-from-London-to-Paris/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11447348

I know the Wandle Trail in London, rather nice

and been on the Cuckoo Trail also nice

these are though just short sections of the whole ride


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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 17 Oct 2016, 1:29pm

If you're thinking of following the official Avenue Verte route from Newhaven to London on road bikes:

  • Avoid the offroad section before Polegate (detour on busy A27 or on back roads into Hailsham)
  • Avoid the offroad section after Heathfield (alternative on parallel minor road)
  • Avoid the offroad path running parallel to the A26 before Groombridge (follow busy A26 instead)
  • Groombridge-East Grinstead-Crawley (Worth Way) should be ok on road bikes though perhaps a bit of mud at the eastern end
  • Several bridleways in Redhill area (until you cross the M25) - passable on a road bike but not necessarily comfortable
  • Country park section south of Carshalton - probably easiest just to stay on the B278
  • Wandle Trail through London has lots of barriers - repeatedly clipping/unclipping on road bikes can be a bit exasperating

So, for a party of road cyclists, I'd suggest two possible options.

One is to follow the official Avenue Verte route, but bypass the first three offroad sections as per above; then, after East Grinstead, take this detour to miss out Crawley (which is dismal). It has a few unpaved sections at the start but nothing too horrendous. When you get into London you can choose whether to follow the Wandle Trail or to take a road route - perhaps Cycle Superhighway 7 along the A24, which isn't particularly great but will get you there fast.

The other, as you say, is to cycle along the coast from Newhaven to Brighton, then follow one of the countless London-Brighton routes posted in various places across the web.

I did my usual write-up at http://cycle.travel/route/avenue_verte_uk and there are maps there too, of course.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby horizon » 17 Oct 2016, 1:58pm

Cagger: have you checked the ferry yet? My daughter and friends were unable to book this ferry as a group due to preference being given to motor vehicles (there was plenty of space). Personally I would ring the ferry company and perhaps make your bookings as early as possible and with plenty of written confirmation. If they say something like "wait and see", I would suggest you'll either be going by minibus or swimming.
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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby tatanab » 17 Oct 2016, 2:39pm

Cagger wrote:Also, are there any particular rules in the UK about marking arrows or other signs on the road surface?
Illegal but you would probably get away with it. Similarly, signs attached to lampposts etc strictly require Highways Agency permission. One of my pet hates --- all those signs hanging around that organisers of Sportifs etc have not bothered to retrieve.

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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby Cagger » 17 Oct 2016, 3:05pm

mercalia wrote:I assume you have googled it? no good?




Barrenfluffit wrote:I've ridden this; :
http://travelloglewes.co.uk/index.php?p ... -bike-ride.


Richard Fairhurst wrote:If you're thinking of following the official Avenue Verte route from Newhaven to London on road bikes:


Thank you. These are all extremely helpful advice and links and I'll spend some time looking through them.


horizon wrote:Cagger: have you checked the ferry yet? My daughter and friends were unable to book this ferry as a group due to preference being given to motor vehicles (there was plenty of space). Personally I would ring the ferry company and perhaps make your bookings as early as possible and with plenty of written confirmation. If they say something like "wait and see", I would suggest you'll either be going by minibus or swimming.


this is a very helpful tip and obviously the kind of thing that one isn't going to find in most books or official websites. It's very good advice and I think that I have to come up with a workaround.

The plan is to hire a van to take any luggage over and to bring the bikes back from London. On the basis of what you say here, it seems to me that the best thing to do is to put the bikes into the van in Dieppe for the ferry crossing. That should then put us on an equal footing with other motorised transport.

tatanab wrote:
Cagger wrote:Also, are there any particular rules in the UK about marking arrows or other signs on the road surface?
Illegal but you would probably get away with it. Similarly, signs attached to lampposts etc strictly require Highways Agency permission. One of my pet hates --- all those signs hanging around that organisers of Sportifs etc have not bothered to retrieve.


Thanks for this. Rather as I thought. I'll let the principal organisers know and leave them to decide whether or not to sneak around in the early a.m. with a can of spray and a stencil. At least it wears off eventually. I completely agree with you about leftover signage dangling from lampposts.

By the way, you might all be interested to know that the same club organised a huge ride from Paris to Cabourg on the coast which took place on 10 September. http://cyclotourisme.levallois-sporting ... s-cabourg/

It was a very successful event and nearly 3000 cyclists took part.

There will be another Paris-Cabourg ride next year and I'll take steps to make sure that it is posted up on this forum once the date is decided and the arrangements are in place
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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby ANTONISH » 18 Oct 2016, 10:12am

I think if you start marking the road the Police may take an interest - if so they will stop you doing it.
So it's best to use something legal to start with.
I've only known one occasion when this has been done in the uk and the organiser used quite small discrete road markings.
You would probably be ok with temporary signs on lamposts etc.
Belgium has a similar restriction - I have ridden randonees in the north of France that have gone into Belgium and the road markings were changed to temporary signs in most cases.

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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby andrew_s » 18 Oct 2016, 2:37pm

The difficulty with signs comes when it comes to looking for something to attach them to. You may end up having to take staple guns, string, long zip ties and glue/paste to maximise your chances. Although strictly not allowed, signs are at least fairly commonly seen.

If you go for road markings, go for something obviously or stated to be temporary, like chalk or the stuff that the highways surveyors use. Having made an effort will reduce the chances of confiscation and a route that just ends.

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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby Vorpal » 29 Oct 2016, 11:12am

Richard Fairhurst wrote:If you're thinking of following the official Avenue Verte route from Newhaven to London on road bikes:

  • Avoid the offroad section before Polegate (detour on busy A27 or on back roads into Hailsham)
  • Avoid the offroad section after Heathfield (alternative on parallel minor road)
  • Avoid the offroad path running parallel to the A26 before Groombridge (follow busy A26 instead)
  • Groombridge-East Grinstead-Crawley (Worth Way) should be ok on road bikes though perhaps a bit of mud at the eastern end
  • Several bridleways in Redhill area (until you cross the M25) - passable on a road bike but not necessarily comfortable
  • Country park section south of Carshalton - probably easiest just to stay on the B278
  • Wandle Trail through London has lots of barriers - repeatedly clipping/unclipping on road bikes can be a bit exasperating

I don't think I would put a group of cyclists on either the A27 or A26; they are busy roads, and it's not likely to be pleasant. There are some pleasenat alternatives on the back lanes. If speed is important the B road is a reasonable alternative.
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Re: French bike club – planning Paris to London ride June 2017

Postby Cagger » 29 Oct 2016, 11:23am

Ta very much.
I've posted more detail and also a suggestion for interclub collaboration here http://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=110074

As I have pointed out in that thread, this is simply a provisional route which really shows the waypoints, if anything. We certainly don't want to ride on a routes. Be routes might be acceptable but of course the backroads would be much nicer.

It's for that reason that I'm looking around for local riders who like to join us and shows the way. It makes a lot more sense to me to do it that way then to slog around having to work out a route and maybe getting it wrong, when loads of local riders will sussed up all the good routes a long time ago.

All I can be fairly sure of at the moment is that I want to be in Brighton, along the coast, then Goring, Arundel, Petworth, Hambledon, spend the night around Teddington. Then move off from Teddington on the Sunday morning, through Richmond Park, Putney, Hyde Park and then Hampstead.

All of this is pretty flexible except for the beginning at Brighton and the end at Hampstead
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