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  • Katie Phythian

Copenhagen to Paris on a bike

Updated: Sep 9

2 people two bikes and two bags



Two people. two bikes and two bags.


We have cycled the Tour de France start to finish for eight years now. A few people have asked about the logistics of our Tour de France cycle ride. This is our first attempt at a video diary for ourselves,

As it became clear from the photos we don’t do tour cycling in the traditional way. The route is decided by the official Tour De France, we simply go to the start line and head to Paris.


This means the terrain can be varied, mountain passes, forests or dangerous suburbs have all featured. So have flash floods, heat waves and torrential rain. We carry or buy along the way everything that will sustain us on our journey. Because we use lightweight racing bikes we have very little space and of course the lighter we can travel the better. Packing light means certain sacrifices are made but the reward is a relatively better speed. We buy food and water on the road and have eaten many a fine meal in a supermarket car park or a farmers barn. The few clothes we bring are washed and dried as we travel. That’s why our tour pics tend to feature that particular years chosen ‘civilian outfit’ as we call it. We have no camping gear and stay in hotels or apartments along the way. We carry some very basic tools for minor repairs. I was once ferried to a bicycle shop by a french man in a dumper truck from the roadworks. He helped, but my French language skills limited our conversation immensely. These days we carry enough technology to get by, battery packs, phones, a small drone. Every year we get our gear to the start line and head for Paris.


Train and plane restrictions mean bikes must be packed. Bike bags are expensive but secondly, we are riding back and so can’t bring the bag with us. To overcome this I designed a disposable bike bag (tm), we throw it away at the start and make a new one in Paris to get us home. They are cheap and easy to make. Tarpaulin sheet and duck tape, under a tenner each! These days we book our accommodation on the day. This works well for flexibility and we can make allowances for grinding knee’s and bad backs if need be. We are very experienced now and have huge admiration for the real tour riders, if we’ve learned anything it’s that the human body weakens by the day as the ride goes on. We always get there some way or other even if it’s pushing through the pain on those final days.


In the end we forgot the pain and keep the memories. It’s always been about our favourite charity too www.woodstreetmission.org


Thanks for asking - next year it’s Bilbao to Paris followed by Florence, Italy to Paris in 2024. Can’t wait.





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