RBL Bike Rides 2004

While e-mailing the RBL about the poppy appeal I was sent the following bike ride information which seems an extremely good way to get involved. It also prompted me to start this board, which I hope will prove useful in teasing those hard earned tenners from your wallets.

The Legion’s Special Events team have organised an exciting and varied programme of bike rides for 2004 and are already taking bookings and enquiries. The Royal British Legion enjoys a well-deserved reputation for running some of the most friendly, enjoyable and well-organised charity bike rides. All levels of ability are catered for from the complete beginner to the semi-professional.

London to Lausanne 12 - 21 May 2004
This event is planned as a special one-off ride aimed at medium to fast cyclists (14-18 mph) and a deliberate alternative to other Legion rallies. London to Lausanne requires extra endurance and speed as cyclists will spend eight days in the saddle covering just over 1000 km (about 625 miles). This is not a ride for the faint hearted - you really need to love those hills on this one!

This ride gives cyclists a chance to ride across some of northern Europe’s most beautiful and varied landscapes, including the coastal plains of the Pas de Calais, the plateaux of the Champagne region with their vast stretches of vineyards, and the wooded valleys of Franche-Comté. The ride climaxes with a dramatic climb up to, and over, an 1100 m col in the Jura Mountains before a fast and steep descent towards the shores of Lake Geneva and a triumphant arrival in Lausanne.
Contact Rebecca Pride on 020 7973 7255 or e-mail rpride@britishlegion.org.uk

Aylesford to the Ardennes 9 – 14 June 2004
A six-day, 300 mile ride from The Royal British Legion Village in Aylesford, Kent to the beautiful Ardenne, a region renowned for its beautiful scenery and popularity with cyclists. Belgium itself is a country of contrasts. Within its borders lie the cosmopolitan city of Brussels, the great port of Antwerp, the mediaeval gem that is Bruges and the ancient towns of Ghent, and Liege. It also has great cycling-friendly terrain! The flat lands of the north, known as Flanders, eventually give way to the unspoilt Ardennes, comprising almost half of southern Belgium. Wooded landscapes plunge into deep ravines riddled with caves and underground rivers. Small towns and villages shelter against steep hillsides and rivers wind their way through the undulating countryside.
Contact Nick Hanmer on 020 7973 7285 or e-mail nhanmer@britishlegion.org.uk

Normandy Beaches 14 – 18 July 2004
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in 1944, this ride offers a different format from other Legion rides. Rather than starting in England, cyclists will be based in Bayeux from where they will travel out each day on satellite rides exploring the lush countryside and attractive beaches. This is an ideal ride for those interested in the history and beauty of the area, but who would like to experience it at a relatively leisurely pace!
Contact Matt Taylor on 020 7973 7350 or e-mail mjtaylor@britishlegion.org.uk

Pedal to Paris 2 – 6 September 2004
There seems to be something about the prospect of cycling ‘city to city’ which brings people back time and again and, as it only takes four days to reach the heart of Paris, it makes a perfect ‘long weekend’. Pedal to Paris is the Legion’s flagship ride – the largest and most established of the Legion’s cycle rides. The size of the rally varies but averages about 200 cyclists every year. Because of this, cyclists are split into 3 groups (slow, medium and fast), with corresponding average speeds of 10mph, 14 mph and 18 mph. Riders enjoy a motorcycle escort to the Arc de Triomphe – Pedal to Paris is the only charity ride where the hectic Paris traffic is stopped at the Arc!

After an initial day’s ride through Kent to reach the Channel and the first overnight stop in Calais, riders travel through the much under-rated Pas de Calais region which hides some of the most authentic and unspoiled parts of north-eastern France featuring quiet country roads and tree-lined canals. The ride then moves on through the Oise and Somme Valleys in the Picardy region. After that it is a relatively short distance on the last day into Paris, right up to l’Etoile and to the Arc de Triomphe itself.
Contact Matt Taylor on 020 7973 7350 or e-mail mjtaylor@britishlegion.org.uk

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