Author, Nash Anderson
Day 1: London - Folkestone - Calais
We all met at Ebbsfleet station and head off in the Roadside bus to Folkestone. We enjoyed the music of Roadside head honcho Tierney on the way and before long we arrived at the channel crossing. We waited in the queue to enter the tunnel and soon entered what would be affectionately known as the hamster cage, a series of metal tunnels which organised the cars transported to France. Once we squeezed into our ‘sardine can’ section of the train we raced into France before long!
After we were set up in our Calais hotels with our treatment tables, riders arrived and had a chance to sign up for treatments. Day 1 was a nice warmup for the cyclists and aches weren’t too serious . We had a quick break for dinner, some more treatments, then we went off to bed for an early start.
Day 2: Calais - Amiens
We met the cyclists at the very unique Stage 2 race start to address niggles. The race start was an industrial area that had been converted into a trendy new space. Here sights seen included a building covered in license plates, a trendy repurposed abattoir and, for some reason, many paintings of camels.
Stage 2 between Calais and Amiens was a good 160 miles so it was good to help the cyclists with pre-race treatments. After treating the last of the cyclists, we raced to beat the first cyclists to leave to the lunch stop. We rolled through lovely French countryside and many cute towns on the way to the lunch break and even fitted in one of Ts (Tierney) famous coffee breaks. Delicious baguettes were enjoyed for lunch! HotChillee secured delicious local food.
At the stage 2 lunch break cyclists came down in waves about 3045 minutes apart. This gave us the opportunity to look after many cyclists with our team of roadside therapists.
Once the final group of cyclists left we packed the car and massage couches.
We drove through endless rolling green hills. The weather was supposed to be terrible but we enjoyed blue skies all day right until we arrived in Amiens. For some reason Amiens had a huge building in the centre of town which when light up, looked like Superman’s Metropolis. It was awesome for a small.photoshoot. Unfortunately, I forgot my cape.
Shortly after we arrived in Amiens we set up couches in hotels and looked after the cyclists as they rolled in.
Luckily we managed to see some cyclists who we had seen before. It was great to see how they went through the second, more difficult stage. This was followed by some more treating, some eating and some more treating before bed.
Day 3: Amiens - Paris
After another early wake up, the Roadside mobile picked us up. We raced off to the race start to look after the cyclists before the race in a basketball stadium. All our treatment venues were completely different! With the cyclists looked after, we departed for the lunch stop.
We arrived at the lunch stop and enjoyed some beautiful weather.
While we waited for our cyclists to arrive we set up our tables in a stunning park. We luckily had the time to take Roadside handstand and jumping photos!
Conveniently after amazing photos were taken and we’d eaten a delicious lunch the cyclists rolled in and were looked after. Occasional rain drops fell down during treatments to add to a raw experience. As this was the final timed stage people worked quite hard and appreciated our couches to lie on.
Shortly after we looked after our last cyclists and packed up our gear the cyclists took off together as a peloton. Immediately after the cyclists left, the heavens opened up to heavy expected rains.
Once we arrived in Paris we drove by the Eiffel Tower to reach the final venue. How surreal! At the race finish we helped the HotChillee team hand out the London To Paris medals. Luckily the rain stopped by this stage. It was an amazing experience to hand out medals to the cyclists at the end, many of whom we’d helped along the way. A truly amazing experience as a therapist, let alone a cyclist! The lucky cyclists saw sites such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc du Triumph on their bike with Tour de France road closures in central Paris as well as a 50 motorbike convoy.
Thank you Hot Chillee events and Roadside Therapy for allowing me to partake in such an event. For both the cyclists and crew the event was hard work with long days but a lot of fun and very rewarding.
The HotChillee London to Paris in less than two minutes! Enjoy 🙂