Hello Group 4 Riders, my name is Rachel and I am a long-standing Ride Captain with HotChillee.
Thank you for choosing to ride in Group 4! If you’re new to all this, I can tell you it’s a very sociable group who work hard as a team and strive for everyone to get from the experience what they came for and I look forward to meeting you!
If you have ridden London-Paris, or any other events with us before, it’s great to have you back. You will already know most of the below but for those of you who are new, please read through and I hope that you will find some of it helpful! If you are not yet known to our family, and are perhaps even new to cycling, then after reading this you will have a better idea of how to prepare for, and what to expect on a HotChillee event.
I have been riding for 15 years and when I first started, HotChillee were there promoting women’s cycling and inclusive group cycling and I am proud to still be part of a team that continues to bring those values to an event like the LONDON-PARIS. Over the 3 days you will experience many things both physically and emotionally. In Paris you will, I am sure have a sense of achievement that is unique to this event. I still get it and this will be my 12th LONDON-PARIS! The HotChillee Ride Captains to be there all the way with words of wisdom, your safety and most of all your enjoyment at the forefront of their minds, as after all for many this is truly is a once in a lifetime experience that we’re lucky enough to do every year!
On the road, each group is headed by a Lead Car and a Ride Captain, with the main body of the peloton supported middle and rear by an additional three Ride Captains and a mechanics van. This convey is flanked by Motorbike outriders, who control traffic at the junctions and prevent cars from infringing in our ‘safe zone’. In the UK we obey the usual rules of the road, but in France, the moto’s have authority over the traffic and we flow continually, only stopping at pre-designated points for a comfort break and to top up with water. For this to work well it is therefore essential that we ride together in a tight-knit group, and this is why we ask you to sign up to a specific speed group.
HotChillee groups are designated Race / Ride / Conquer. In G4, we are at most definitely at the Ride & Conquer end of the scale. Our first aim is to get to the start of the event, fit, healthy, well prepared and uninjured. Sounds easy eh? But believe me, there are a heck of a lot of considerations to reach this level before we even put rubber to tarmac on July 25th. Our fundamental purpose is to keep pedalling, again and again and again. For most of G4, it will be a mixture of easy miles on the wheels and painful miles when you just can’t seem to find your mojo. When riding in a large group safety and efficiency are key. There is nothing like practice so if you have the opportunity to ride in groups in your build up to L2P take it.
What do you need to know:
Long rides – build the distance & repeat
- Riding 100+ miles every day for 3 days is hard. It will be difficult, and you will need to train. We would expect that by now the majority of our riders would be able to comfortably cover 100 km but you will need to build up to 100 miles AT LEAST once before the event. Try and get some consecutive long rides in as for many, the hardest part is getting back on the bike after a big previous day! Commuters, you may be used to this but for those who only ride once or twice a week, we have 3 days in a row to cover so if you can do 3 back to back rides, brilliant!
Get your equipment right
- If you haven’t had a bike fit, I recommend having one. Sigma Sports offer a bike fitting service and getting as comfortable position as you can on a bike is invaluable. We see many riders with aches and pains by day 3 that can be avoided by just fixing your position on the bike. If you’re uncomfortable, you won’t enjoy yourself and we want this to be an experience to remember for all the right reasons, not because you spent most of it in pain!
- We stop for lunch every day and the hotels have a good, early breakfast spread for us in the morning. The support vehicles also carry some basic nutrition like cereal bars and bananas but if you would like to bring bars or gels with you, you can either pop some in your pocket or in your musette that you can access at lunch. If you haven’t already got a favourite nutrition brand it’s a good idea to experiment beforehand. Our nutrition partner is RawVelo and you can purchase packs from Sigma Sports!
Train to your weaknesses
- If you’ve not ridden in a group before, try to. Basic peloton etiquette is essential and not something you want to be learning for the first time on an event! If you can join one of the HotChillee monthly rides, then do! It’s a great opportunity to meet the HotChillee Ride Captains, get a feel for the group speed and meet your fellow riders before we set off on our adventure. It also should help to combat some pre-event nerves as you’ll have a better idea of what to expect!
I look forward to seeing you in July, if not before! If you have any questions in the meantime please feel free to drop me a message or contact our Head Ride Captain Juliette – Juliette@hotchillee.com