Paris to Zurich Bike Challenge Picture 1
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Best Time of Year: May - October
Paris to Zurich Bike Challenge
Get ready for classic European Bike Adventure - crossing borders, enjoying the best continental cuisine, and riding through some historic towns and cities, as well as through beautiful countryside - Champagne, Nancy, Strasbourg, and the Black Forest - not bad for a ride of 6 days. Finally we shall cross the Danube and end just outside Zurich - ready for the next stage!
The second stage of the awe inspiring London to Istanbul Oriental Express - this ride is going to take you on the adventure of a lifetime. In this the second stage, things really get going! Crossing through the Champagne region of France, and across the Marne River before the historic towns of Bar Le Duc, Nancy, and Strasbourg. As we cross the Vosges, you will start to appreciate the beauty and variety of wonderful central Europe - and as well as enjoying the challenge of the uphills (!!) you can savour and enjoy the downs!
Into the Alsace, and things take on a distinctly Germanic feel, with a stunning and dramatic change in the architecture. Strasbourg is a fascinating blend of French and German. The Rhine Valley follows, before we climb up through the Black Forest, on smaller winding country roads. Through the Black Forest heading South East - we shall make a log traverse of this beautiful area before coming into Switzerland - just before our arrival in Zurich.
N.B You will need to drop your bike off by 18:00 on the evening before if you wish your bike to be transported to Paris for you. Your bike should be protected with pipe insulators if you wish to avoid scratches. Or you may wish to put it in a bike case.
Day 1 - (Cycle 65km) - London - Paris - Coulommiers
Early depart from UK to arrive Paris late morning (if you travel Eurostar - or overnight if you select coach from London to Paris - from £21) - for meet, and prepare for departure from Gare du Nord. Latest arrival Gare du Nord - 12:00. Expected departure from Central Paris latest 13:30. Ride of approximately 65 km - to take us out of Paris to the small town of Coulommiers. Here we shall stay overnight - have a good hearty meal and prepare for the onwards journey - taking a little time to iron out any little issues with bikes, packing, equipment etc.
Day 2 - (Cycle 130km) Coulommiers - Vitry Le Francois
After breakfast we shall continue eastwards and head into the Champagne region of France. Maybe our support driver will collect a bottle to sample later this evening on our arrival after our second tough day of riding? We shall spend the evening in either Vitry Le Francois or Saint Dizier - having ridden around 120km for this day.
Day 3 - (Cycle 130km) Vitry Le Francois - Nancy
Our ride across the relatively flat part of Eastern France continues today - with our ride into Nancy - stopping for mid afternoon tea here with a little bit of luck! We shall ride on into the early evening - leaving Nancy behind us - and now well and truly bound for the German border!
Day 4 - (Cycle 120km) Nancy - Mutzig
We shall ride through the heart of the beautiful Vosges region of France, climbing high before descending into the Rhine Valley. We stay tonight in the pretty Alsacian town of Mutzig - home to a famous brewery - of course we shall all be on our best behaviour!
Day 5 - (Cycle 90km) Mutzig - Freiburg - Via Strasbourg and the Rhine Valley
Now into Germany - we ride via Strasbourg and down the Rhine Valley and skirt the magnificent Schwarzwald (Black Forest) - with time to seek out a slice or two of Gateau this afternoon - we shall have earned it - although today is a shorter ride - to enjoy some hearty German fare - Cabbage and Sausage anyone? And also a brief spin around this beautiful classic town in the morning
Day 6 - (Cycle 100km) Freiburg - Swiss Border (Tiengen)
Cycle through the Black Forest - a wonderful shorter day's ride to bring us back once again to the Rhine Valley.
Day 7 - (Cycle 40km) Tiengen - Zurich Airport
Our final ride will take us for a short half day in to Zurich - where we shall be aiming to catch a plane back in the early afternoon. The end of the road (For this time… - but look out for the next installment!)
Each evening we shall use accommodation as we are able to find it, in each location at the end of our day's ride. Sometimes this may be small gite style accommodation, other times a more normal small hotel.
What is a Level 3.5 Cycling Challenge Like?
These challenge rides are either longer, with more ascent, or span several days. In the case of single day events, you can expect up to 10 hours cycling. In the case of a multi day ride, you can expect lower daily durations - but of course - the effort is sustained over a longer period. You need to be a keen cyclist for these events, and to enjoy training, and to ride regularly. If the ride is outside the EU, it is likely to be easier in terms of the physical riding, however, you will need to be more resilient - due to more basic living conditions (in the case of Asia / Africa especially)
How Fit Do I need to be to join a Level 3.5 ‘Bike Ride’?
You need to have good endurance for these events. You must be used to doing long rides in the countryside - 6 hours + . You should be doing regular exercise - with some serious cycle training. Your typical comfortable cycling speed will be at least 22-24 km/hr, and you should be able to cycle at high speed for up to 1 hour or 25 km. You may also be concentrating on other types of exercise - but for longer periods of time (ie sessions in excess of 1.5 hrs.) - however cycling is the best preparation (obviously!)
Please note, it is extremely important for this physical challenge that you are in good health. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please consider carefully whether you should be joining the challenge. Please ensure you fill in the booking form accurately and honestly, this is important. In the case of serious conditions (epilepsy, diabetes, heart conditions, recent illness or operations), please discuss the challenge with your GP. Please also ensure you notify us of any allergies or similar.
It requires stamina and good aerobic fitness - but good willpower will also come in handy! Failure to disclose medical conditions is a serious omission - that could have serious repercussions on any of our challenges.
Visas / Redtape
None required for this trip (if you are an EU citizen.) If from further afield you will need to check requirements.
Included In Trip
Leader (experienced with first aid qualification, and experienced mechanic), Support Vehicle with driver, Transfers for bikes from London to Paris and all accommodation B&B basis.
Excluded From Trip
Transport to and from event. Lunches, dinners. Bike Hire. Return transfer of bikes to London.
Road Bike / Hybrid Bike (with puncture resistant tyres) - please call us for guidance on type of bike on a trip by trip basis
2 X Water Bottles (bladder system/cycle water bottles)
Cycling Gloves, Bike Lock, Neck Scarf, Inner Tubes*, Multi-Tool (with allen keys)*
Day Bag for support vehicle, Small Holdall (for overnight gear)
Bike Lights (front and rear, head torch can be worn)
Saddle Bag (recommended - can be used to carry asterisk* items)
Puncture Repair Kit*, Spare parts for your bike (specialist parts and spokes), Pump (suitable for your valve type)
Personal Medikit Suncream, Plasters, Vaseline, Painkillers, Sunbloc, Insect Repellant
Warm Clothing Medium Weight Softshell, Long sleeve Jersey / insulating layer Lightweight Gloves.
Cycle / Overnight Clothing
Lycra Cycling Shorts, Cotton Shorts, Long Cycling Trousers (Tights/Tracksuit Bottoms)
Cotton T-Shirts for evening
Short Sleeve Cycling T-Shirts (wicking type material) or Cycle Top with rear pockets
Cycling Shoes (approach shoes suitable), Sandals / Spare Shoes for after ride
Casual Evening Wear
1 Outer Fully Waterproof Jacket (gore-tex, e-vent) - comfortable to cycle in
Travel Documents, EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) Credit Cards, Cash, Local Currency, Mobile Phone, Sunglasses
Snacks for Cycling Days (dried fruits, nuts, flapjacks, cereal bars etc)
Travel insurance (not included), Passport
Make sure you do not ‘over pack’ - bring only what is essential for the trip
A final kit list will be provided in your ‘Final Joining Instructions’ pre-departure
You must stay in contact with your leader at each stage of the ride. Briefings will be made each day on the directions, and routecards issued - however, you should never go further ahead than one stop. You must always wear your helmet. Your leader is First Aid Qualified - and will carry a full expedition first aid kit. There will also be a support vehicle available in case of emergency - but this is only useful if you are in contact with the vehicle / leader.
We should catch the end of the summer - and have mild warm and sunny weather. Be prepared for hot and sunny conditions - so be prepared to protect against the sun. Equally however, we could get unlucky! So pack rain jackets and warmer clothes too! Just in case….
Notes on Cycling Events
This is our standard range of Cycling Challenges in the UK, Europe and further afield. However, we offer completely tailormade itineraries to your specification. Call us to discuss!
Adventure Cafe Booking Terms and Conditions
By booking an event with Adventure Cafe, you agree to these standard terms of booking. Please ensure that you read the appropriate document for your type of event carefully.
Adventure Cafe Terms & Conditions
- For all types of event