LONDON-PARIS Group 5 - Words of advice from the HotChillee Ride Captains - HOTCHILLEE

LONDON-PARIS Group 5 – Words of advice from the HotChillee Ride Captains

Hello, my name is Juliette and I will be one of your Ride Captain’s in Group 5.

First, may I applaud your choice of group. Although your seeding may change in the lead up to the event (after you have submitted your seeding rides), experience suggests that having pre-selected G5, this is the group that you will most likely ride with. You will find us a friendly and warm-hearted bunch, where the collective aim is just to get to Paris. No heroes; no egos; just lots of effort and commitment required.

If you are a stalwart of HotChillee events and / or have ridden London-Paris with us before, it’s great to have you back. You will already know much of what follows, and will I hope act as a reassuring and helping hand to the newcomers. If you are not yet known to our family, and are perhaps even relatively new to cycling, my job is to give you some insight into the event and what it will be like for you riding in G5. We hope that signing up to the HotChillee London-Paris is the start for you of an incredible journey, not just in km’s covered, but also in personal development.

A little about how the event is structured 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, a mechanics van, and for G5 also a SAG wagon (aka the Fun Bus!). 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 G5, we are at most definitely at the 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 G5, it is only at lunch on Stage 3, with Paris just 40Km away, that we even allow ourselves to start thinking about the ‘end game’.

So, what should you be thinking of now?

Long rides – build the distance

Get your equipment right

Consecutive rides – build your resilience

Fuelling and Nutrition

Train to your weaknesses

 

The Ride Captains will lend a helping hand all the way along your journey to Paris but if you lack fitness and cannot hold the required speed there is not much we can do. Unbelievably, the smallest of speed difference can rapidly lead to a large split in the group; consider that a differential in pace with the front of the group travelling at 25 kph and the back struggling at 22 kph, would mean that it would only take 3K for us to be strung out over 1K. This would be unsafe and before this happens you will be asked to close the gaps. If you are unable to do this, you will have to take a ride in the SAG wagon. I know the banter is good in the “fun bus” but I’m sure none of you want to sit out the ride within the first couple of hours of the first day!

If you put the effort and the training in now, you’ll reap the rewards come July. One last piece of advice, please try to make it to at least one of our Monthly rides in the run up to the event (May 12th, June 9th, July 14th). This gives you a chance to get to know us, and for the Ride Captains to get to know you. It’s an opportunity to ride with others also doing the event, and to chat to folk who have previous experience. We have many great tips to share about logistics, packing and recovery.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or specific concerns, please feel free to email me at juliette@hotchillee.com

 

Safe Miles,

Juliette.