Starting from Truro on Saturday 28th October we aim to be in Bonn in time for the People’s Climate Summit on Friday evening 3rd November running through to 6th November together with the mass demonstration in Bonn on Saturday 4th and the direct action against nearby lignite coal extraction (Germany is not as green in its energy as is sometimes painted) on the Sunday.
The ride actually starts from Paris on Monday 30th November and we need to cover the 510km from Paris to Bonn in 5 days – this means averaging over 100km a day.
The problem is likely to be not so much the distance as the lack of daylight – sunrise is around 7:30am local time and sunset is at 5:15pm so there are only around nine and a half hours of daylight. Allowing for an hour and a half of lunch and tea/coffee breaks that is only 8 hours of daylight if we manage to set off at first light. None of us want to be riding in the dark.
On my recent ride to the Mediterranean I did manage to often average of 17km/hr in fully laden touring mode – but that was surprisingly flat terrain (I never realised that the highest point between Cornwall and the Med was the top of Brittany at about 200m and that on a very gentle climb up the old railway route). Also a group will often go slower than an individual rider (unless they are working together with the goal of maximum speed like a peloton). So with 8 hours at 15km/hr we might manage 120km a day if all goes well.
Add to that the difficulty of finding accommodation at the optimum points (we are not taking camping kit), and the inevitable time wasted getting lost, dealing with punctures, head-winds and other hazards and it is not going to be a walk in the park.
Basically we will be following a straight line route heading ENE from Paris to the Belgium border around the Ardennes, just missing Luxembourg and crossing into Germany somewhere south of Aachen.
The exact detail will become apparent on the ground…
The planned itinerary is here with links to each day’s blog post.