Bike from London to Paris! (And Other Wild, Realizable Goals)

I haven’t heard much fanfare about it, but I recently learned that a cycling route between London and Paris opened over the summer. L’Avenue Verte is a 406 kilometer (252 mile) low- to no-traffic itinerary linking the two capitals (via the Dieppe-Newhaven ferry; they haven’t figured out biking on water yet!)

The route winds through a changing landscape of pretty villages and past picturesque chateaus. On the French side, the shortest line runs from Paris to Dieppe, with part of the trip following the old Paris-Dieppe railway line. An alternate option passes through the Oise Valley toward Chantilly and Beauvais before heading to the Normandy coast.

The British side uses small paths already in place from the National Cycle Network allowing riders easy access through the English countryside. The former railway lines on this end include the Forest Way and the Cuckoo Trail. The ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven takes about 4 hours and allows bikes (with a “bicyclette” fee).

While I’m not much of a cyclist, I like the idea of this “Green Avenue.” It also got me to thinking about how great it can be to have a goal – especially when it’s achievable! Maybe this will motivate people to say, hey, why don’t I bike from London to Paris – and then do it!

Goals don’t have to be huge or headaches to plan, either. Anything that excites you or gives you energy or that you just plain want to do.

I’ve been blessed this year with many adventures. I would not have believed at the start of it that I’d get a chance to teach in Barcelona, be filmed in a documentary, or witness my sister being sworn in as a judge in DC Superior Court, for example.

So now I’m focusing on staying put just a bit, with quieter, but equally as important, goals. I am carving out time each and every day to sit down with my writing; I have not been this disciplined in awhile. I’m finding this site called HabitForge helpful. If you’re trying to develop a new habit or work yourself toward a goal, you might want to check it out. Name what you’re after, then get an email each day to see if you’ve worked on it. Accountability plain and simple.

I’d love to hear what you’re working toward these days or if you have a crazy, wild (but realizable!) dream you’re thinking about. Let’s inspire each other in the comments!

If biking from London to Paris happens to be your cool goal, you can find more information about L’Avenue Verte at the website. (In French, but in English soon).

16 Responses to “Bike from London to Paris! (And Other Wild, Realizable Goals)”

  1. 1 le cul en rows October 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Looks like my goal for next year is to bike this route! I’m so psyched by the possibility.


  2. 3 Vanessa October 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Thank you for a lovely post. I have also been learning this year that the big dreams that you think are impossible are actually possible. I recently made the decision to quit my job after 4+ years and move to Paris where I will be going back to school to get my MBA. I have wanted to live in Paris since I first traveled there 20 years ago but I never thought it was possible. The truth is that all I had to do was make this my goal and go after it. Dream big and take risks!


    • 4 paris (im)perfect October 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm

      Wow, Vanessa! What a great story! You are SO right. It’s so often our own perception that something isn’t possible that holds us back. Once we make it a goal, we can make it happen! I’m very happy for you!


  3. 5 aureliad October 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Love this post, for so many reasons!

    I am a cyclists (my last big two-wheel trip began in Rome and ended in Berlin), but I didn’t know about this route. Thank you for sharing! There is another cycle path that links France to the Black Sea, and has been on my to-do list for far too long. Now, I have to decide which direction to go–east or west!

    I love the spirit of encouragement and mutual support you are fostering here, too. So many of us lack that within our communities (or lack community altogether), so the chance to give and receive support–if only in the virtual world–is a wonderful gift.



    • 6 paris (im)perfect October 13, 2012 at 2:25 am


      Thanks for your wonderful comment. Wow to everything. (Rome to Berlin! And that route to the Black Sea looks AMAZING. London-Paris would just be a starter route compared to that. So cool!)

      I’m always thrilled when people find a way to mutually support each other. It has helped me so much to have encouragement and support and it makes ME feel good to do that for others, too. So let’s all join together! We’re ALL better for it.


  4. 7 David October 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Paris – London! What a great ride that must be. I am a cyclist, and I have twice ridden the quadrennial Paris – Brest Paris, a 1,200 km out and back. The time limit is 90 hours to complete it to be an “official” finisher, so there’s not much time to sleep or sight see. I’ve dreamed of riding the same route over several days in a more relaxed mode to see that beautiful country.


  5. 9 Franck October 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    I will make a comic with an artist I’ve never met. Does it sound wild enough to you? Don’t know, Firstimer in that stuff.


  6. 11 Fabien October 25, 2012 at 1:00 am

    For those intimidated by the length of the Avenue Verte and about to pass out at the simple mention of the Paris-Brest-Paris/Eurovelo, there are still great paths/greenways inside Paris, and in the close suburbs.

    Paris got the Piste du Canal de l’Ourcq, the Bois de Vincennes (obviously!) and some car-free zones on Sundays, while the Southern Paris got the Coulée Verte, among others.
    The Eastern Paris (Seine & Marne/Val de Marne) is great in that regard, especially the Chemin des Roses, which is only the beginning of the Paris-Strasbourg-Prague veloroute.

    But if there’s something to discover, it’s the Bords de Seine, then Bords de Marne, from the Charles de Gaulle bridge to Noisiel. Great sights, and always the river(s) at hand.
    Plus, the Menier Chocolate museum is there, so there’s always the possibility of visiting & taking some rest while eating a few (and by “a few” I mean “a lot”) treats before heading back!

    Sometimes you have to train and start small before going after the Great Endeavor…


  7. 15 Fabien October 25, 2012 at 1:42 am

    That said, who wouldn’t? 😉
    It’s a great place as well. From what I recall the museum/former chocolate factory is located near/as a mill with a barrage, just over the water.

    Move over, Willy Wonka! The Menier Factory is what we’re talking about.


  1. 1 The Paris Blog: Paris, France Expat Tips & Resources »Blog Archive » Paris-to-London Bike Route Trackback on October 15, 2012 at 6:44 am

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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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