Three went to CalaisJune 1, 2017
On Sunday 14th May 2017 three members of WKRC took part in the Classique Sportive organised by Cycle events which was a 86 mile ride from Calais via Cassel & back to the ferry port.
Unfortunately this meant that at 0345 Little Gary & Paul Townley met at my house and we loaded up and drove to Dover Cliffs to get to the car park & registration for 0530 and then we zipped down Castle Hill road into Dover.
The weather was grey and rain was forecast until our arrival in France so we were suitably dressed but had the opportunity to leave any excess clothing and non-essential items at Calais at the bag drop.
We made the ferry in good time and after passport checks were directed to wait in a lane full of cyclists and cycle on board and leave our bikes in the hold. This was rather a strange experience as I had never cycled onto a ferry beforehand.
So far so good but unfortunately a delay occurred in our departure which meant we arrived approximately one hour later. This meant we had enough time to have the croissant’s and coffee provided and soon we arrived and departed in groups.
The route was well signposted and thankfully the weather improved and we all settled down into a cracking pace assisted by a strong tailwind. The route was very quiet and with very light traffic passing through some lovely villages and epic scenery. The food stops were well stocked with High 5 gels, bars, fruit, & our favourite baguettes & jam.
We had been warned that unless we reached the last food stop before 1300 we would be held back because of the Dunkirk to Dunkirk 4 day race crossing our route so we cracked on and we were the last three riders to be allowed past the checkpoint. As a result we went up a climb and were pleased to see the locals camped out waiting for the race and instead saw three WKRC pushing up the climb. It was a surreal moment and they gave us loads of encouragement which we needed. Onto the cobbles of Cassel and then into the dreaded headwind as we neared Calais and the port.
We did not make the 5.30 Gold cut off but easily made the Silver at 05.50 and then onto the ferry home no rain and no mechanicals or crashes a good ride. But the cherry on the cake was the ride back up the hill to the carpark! I had asked Gary to ride up and bring the car down but he said we needed the training.! We have saved the route so I am proposing that we do a WKRC ride to France next year following the same format if we can get some interest.