Our aim is to make sure that the people of Bristol and other partner cities deliver a clear message to global decision makers at the Conference of the Parties in Paris in November to demand action on climate change, by cycling there with our manifesto for change.
About the project
With the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) on our doorstep in the same year that Bristol is the European Green Capital, it is imperative that we make ourselves heard in Paris. And of course, we have to cycle there!
The Council and Bristol 2015 are lucky enough to be on the inside of the fence, but they need our support to show that the people of Bristol really care about climate change. Please will you help us send a big a group of cyclists to Paris in November, so that we can add our voices to the millions of others around the world.
In order to make sure we are representing as many people as possible, we have also set up a website www.changeseverything.org to gather people's views on their hopes & fears for the future. Unsurprisingly, climate change is already at the top of the list.
We are being joined by a group from London too, organised by www.wearedonation.com. They will be meeting us at Newhaven in order to arrive together for the Paris Climate March, part of the global day of action prior to COP.
Who are "we"
This project is being hosted by 'Love the Future', a not for profit community interest company that runs Bristol's Big Green Week. We are also working alongside the Bristol Green Capital Partnership as part of its plans for legacy of Bristol 2015.
The logistics of the cycle ride are being organised by Le Sportif (www.lesportif.cc), so you can be assured that the ride will be run professionally, with safety as the number 1 priority. The no 2 priority will be having fun on the way. ;-)
Through our partnership with Do Nation, you can make your impact far wider than the ride itself - by raising support from friends through simple carbon-saving actions. Do Nation are offering riders the opportunity to be some of the first to use their spanking new site, where they can gather support from friends pledging to do all sorts of DoActions. Do Nation will also create an exclusive Cycle to Paris hub page, listing all riders in a friendly leaderboard and showing the cumulative carbon savings created by them.
Wednesday 25th Nov, midday - Group photoshoot at Yurt Lush, with the Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson and Chair of Bristol 2015, Andrew Garrad.
Thursday 26th - Setting off at 9.30am, A gentle first day ride of about 50 miles along the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path, through Bradford Upon Avon and finish at Cholderton Youth Hostel, where a group meal will be provided. (http://www.choldertonyouthhostel.co.uk).
Friday 27th - After breakfast at the hostel, we will set off on another shortish 50 mile day of riding through Middle Wallap and on towards a cake stop in Warminster. Then we will skirt the edge of the South Downs National Park and ride to Portsmouth to join up with DoNation group from London. We will reserve at table in a local pub for everyone to purchse the carbs of their choice before boarding the overnight ferry to Le Harve. We will book a shared cabin for you if you wish to enjoy the "luxury" package.
Saturday 28th - Our longest day will take us from Le Havre across the Criques de Rouen, then out into the French countryside before riding along the banks of the Seine to Vernon (80 miles) for our overnight B&B stop, complete with a few bottles of Bordeaux :-)
Sunday 29th - we will get an early start to continue our route along the edge of the Seine before making our way into Paris to join the global climate march due to take place that day (60 miles).
Monday 30th - for those that wish to stay in Paris, we will be meeting up with Mayor George Ferguson to hand over our Manifesto for Change before heading over to see the COP21 site and getting involved in a variety of actions & activities.
Due to the fact that individuals may wish to stay on for some or all of COP, riders will make their own way home. However, we can help with arrangements, including bringing your bike back for an additional fee and in researching return route options (some of which are given below)
The basic entry fee will cover the following:
- Ride Leader
- Accommodation en route including group meal on Thursday evening, breakfast on Friday, Saturday & Sunday
- Rider insurance (you may wish to top up with your own personal travel insurance)
- Team jersey
- Support vehicle for 1 'carry on' bag
- Mechanic support with spares
- Daily snacks
- Energy drinks
The 'luxury' package includes a cabin on the ferry.
Cycling experience & kit
You defnitiely don't need to be a high speed lycra clad road racer or a long distance veteran, but it is recommended that riders have some degree of open road cycling experience and are reasonably fit. We will be splitting into groups with cyclists of similar ability riding together. Each group will be led by an experienced ride leader who will be responsible for navigation and group safety. It is NOT a race - group safety and having fun is more important than speed!
We will be arranging for reduced price servicing packages for those who would like to have their bike checked before leaving and we have a professional ride organiser who will be happy to help answer any questions about kit, route and preparation in the run up to the ride.
As we are riding in November/December, your bike will need good lights, and you will need warm clothes and waterproofs.
We will be in touch with everyone who signs up to chat everything through prior to the ride and make sure you are happy about what you need and will also be arranging a pre-COP get together so you can chat through any issues and meet your fellow riders.
Return information for Sunday/Monday:
Eurostar trains leave Paris for London on Sunday 29th roughly half-hourly including at 19.13, 20.13 & 20.43 taking around 2.5 hours. The standard ticket costs £60-72 depending on time of departure.
There are connections from London Paddington to Bristol temple Meads at 20.03, 21.03, 22.03 & 22.37 taking around 2hrs 10 mins.
Megabus has a daily Paris to Bristol service leaving at 10am and arriving at Colston Hall at 01.55am, taking 16 hours in total (unfortunately there is a 5 hour wait at London Victoria). Price at time of checking was £27. As we are not due to arrive in Paris till midday on Sunday, you would need to book a ticket for Monday 30th.
We can carry a limited number of bikes back to Bristol for you, but please let us know asap.