London to Paris cycling hen party rescued by bike shop

C&N Cycles in Redhill got the ill-prepared crew back on the road

by Sarah Barth   June 16, 2012  

Eiffel tower.jpg

It’s a brave hen (and some committed friends) who decide to cycle from London to Paris for a pre-wedding weekend. But it’s an even braver one who sets out on the first day without even checking her tyres are pumped up.

Having made it out of London and more than 20 miles down the road to Redhill in Surrey, Laura Boyd could no longer put up with her handlebar grips flapping off and tyres flat as pancakes, so she dropped in at the remarkably friendly C&N Cycles, who sorted her and her similarly under-pressurized friends out gratis and got them back en route to Newhaven.

Laura told the Surrey Mirror: "I was having real problems with my handlebar grips and my tyres. To be honest, we hadn't pumped them up before we set off.

"The way things were, we couldn't have gone on. The Saturday was the first day of our three-day cycling trip – we'd left Marble Arch that morning and were heading for the Arc de Triomphe.
"I was dressed appropriately for cycling – I had a helmet on with a veil. And a garlic string necklace, and my bike was a little old. But the staff at C&N Cycles were lovely. When we told them what we were up to, they fixed up our bikes for free.
"They kept us on track for Paris. Without their help we could never have got there, and my hen weekend wouldn't have taken place so I'd just like to say thank you."

Damian Pittock, who owns the C&N, added: "When they came in you could tell straightaway from the unusual way they were dressed that something was up.
"I was surprised when Laura told me they were cycling to Paris – the grips were falling off her bike and the tyres on her bike and her friends' were all flat – and they were carrying a really heavy load.
"She was on a mountain bike with smooth tyres. To be honest, for a trip like that I would have wanted something more lightweight – a road bike.
"But given it was her hen weekend we were delighted to lend a hand – I hope the wedding was a success.”

It sounds like it was - Laura made it to Paris, and got married on Saturday.

9 user comments

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Its Not About The Bike

posted by Some Fella [901 posts]
16th June 2012 - 13:20


"...and they were carrying a really heavy load."

Is that a polite way of saying they were well fed? Wink

ColT's picture

posted by ColT [262 posts]
16th June 2012 - 14:28


ColT wrote:
"...and they were carrying a really heavy load."

Is that a polite way of saying they were well fed? Wink

That's how i read that as well Smile Especially as i think these things are supported... so you don't have to carry anything.

Anyway - good on em!

Philx's picture

posted by Philx [37 posts]
16th June 2012 - 21:18

1 Like

From what I understand, they were doing it unsupported - otherwise they would have had mechanical support.

Good for them, I think!

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [1213 posts]
16th June 2012 - 21:36


Some Fella wrote:
Its Not About The Bike

Spot on. Easy to forget, init.

Great that they fancied the adventure and went for it.

posted by Mountainboy [81 posts]
16th June 2012 - 22:18


Doing it from Newhaven is brave - cheap, great location and on a great off road cycle path but oddly timed ferry sailings.

I got the 22h00 one night because arriving on the other sailing at 14h00 wd not have allowed enough time for cycling anywhere (I thought). Bad move, forgot that 03h00 in UK time is 02h00 french time!

Went along the coast road.


robbieC's picture

posted by robbieC [62 posts]
17th June 2012 - 12:53


robbieC wrote:
Bad move, forgot that 03h00 in UK time is 02h00 french time!

There I was thinking that CET was GMT +1. Wink

posted by nigsbrown [19 posts]
18th June 2012 - 10:37


Nice one ladies! I would try and talk my friends into this too but I don't think I would have many takers. It's worth a go though, they have inspired me!

I have done the night crossing from Newhaven twice now, one 3am arrival and a 4am arrival, I think next time we will do the afternoon sailing though as you're right it's not the best time to arrive.

If you have to though, the avenue verte is great for this, get off the ferry and onto the greenway (6 miles from Dieppe), once you are on it you don't need to worry about getting lost or driven over in the dark, and as long as you are lucky with the weather and don't fall asleep on your bike (or hit a chicane) you get into Forges les Eaux right about breakfast time with the whole weekend ahead of you.

sparrow_h's picture

posted by sparrow_h [35 posts]
18th June 2012 - 12:20


Good luck to them ..

Clearly a manufactured PR story tho, eh girls ?? Smile

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [323 posts]
18th June 2012 - 12:48