Their story, in their words….
Our Mark Evison challenge was cycling from Maidstone in England, to Paris in France. After scrupulously planning the route and carrying out practice cycles to Brighton in the time leading up to summer, we were ready to take on the challenge.
On Saturday the 21st we met at Charing Cross station at 11 am to get a train to Maidstone. We then cycled from Maidstone to the ferry, which took us to Calais. We decided this town made a very pretty welcome to France, as we cycled through it to our first hostel.
The next morning we arose early to start cycling to our second hostel which was located in Amiens. We didn’t have any hiccups in our route although we soon found out that while google maps had kept us clear of dangerous roads it meant we were steered through many large stretches running through French farm land. The uneven ground meant that cycling took longer than the suggested time on Google maps therefore we arrived at the hostel in Amiens just before it’s doors closed for the night. The day after this was our last day cycling and we definitely found it the most challenging. A prominent difficulty was a small town that the route took us through where it was up hill for longer than anyone would have wanted, and since cycling up it was made even more implausible by the fact that the temperature had risen to 29 degrees Celsius with no breeze to cool us, we ended up pushing our bikes up most of the way.
As planned, at the end of it all, we had a rest day which we enjoyed in the capital of France and reflected on our ride while at the Eiffel Tower, with sore legs. We all found it really challenging not just because it was physically straining but also dealing with this tiredness in a group setting. Overall we can confidently say that this trip has brought four friends closer together with a sense of achievement, and would recommend this opportunity to anyone that likes being pushed out of their comfort zone and enjoys a challenge. Thanks to the Mark Evison Foundation for making it possible.