Tuesday 21 August 2018

Cycling to Paris again

It's that time of year again when I make the trip across the water with my two wheels and wend my way to Paris. It's not that there's a rule that I have to do a London to Paris bike ride every year. Things have just happened that way recently.

It's quite a nice run, and I particularly like shuttling between my two favourite cities - two cities that have featured heavily in my life.

I was born in London, but grew up in the north of England. Living in London happened after I finished at university, and it's been my home ever since.

Paris was a temporary home for me for about five years in the early 1990s. It was only meant to have been a one-year stint just to gain experience of working abroad and doing something "interesting" that would be on par with my university contemporaries.

But I enjoyed it so much that I kept extending my time there. My return to London came down to the need to return to the mother ship, and get on with doing a professional job in the UK rather than trying to be bohemian in Paris (which was the life that many people I knew seemed to be living at that time).

It was a bit if a wrench to leave, but it's great that Paris is not far from London and I can go there fairly easily whenever I like.

So here I am again, sitting in a hotel room on the outskirts of Calais ready to hit the road to Paris. I don't normally do the ride at the same time every year. But as it happens, this trip is taking place practically a year after my last cycle ride there.

The timing is because I plan to compete in the Chantilly triathlon. It's an event I came across last year while on my way to the City of Light. Chantilly is an impressive-looking place, with beautifully rustic architecture, manicured lawns around the horse-racing course, and of course the castle. The town,  which boasts of being the French capital of the horse, is twinned with Epsom, so it has a lot to live up to!

As part of the Castle Triathlon Series, a triathlon and other sports races are held within the grounds of the Chateau de Chantilly over the August bank holiday weekend. When I was in the area last year, en route to Paris, I saw the end of the sprint race, and seeing the beautiful surroundings immediately made me decide that this is an event worth coming to do.

So before I reach Paris I will hopefully have done a triathlon,  and gotten a taste of life in a castle, though it remains to be seen whether I will be queen!

Allez, c'est parti!

Related post
Around the Pas de Calais coast

Somme bike ride

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