The Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge is suitable for all abilities - from inexperienced to more seasoned cyclists. But cycling 470km in four days isn't meant to be easy - it's a challenge event after all!

Remember the purpose of your training is to help you achieve the trip of a lifetime. The more you put in before you go, the more you will enjoy the challenge whilst you are there. Keep in mind this goal at all times. You can help yourself with this by planning your rides for enjoyment as well as workout – try to ride to places you want to go, rather than simply doing the distance and hours.

Top 10 tips

  1. Start cycling slowly and gently as this is one of the best ways to warm up. Once you are warm you can do some stretches. Warm down and stretching exercises after cycling are just as important.
  2. If you have not cycled for some time, begin slowly and be realistic about your targets.
  3. Find stretches of hilly terrain to practice cycling uphill and learn how to use your gears on the hills.
  4. As the departure dates gets nearer, plan a number of longer rides. Try to cycle on consecutive days as well. 
  5. Ensure your itinerary includes cycling on dirt roads, towpaths or bridleways. Cycling "off road" is very different to riding on a tarmac surface. The way the bike feels, the use of gears and brakes are all different, so it is very important to experience this and learn the techniques needed.
  6. Please make sure that your saddle is at the right height. Our cycling partner Bike Science offer expert bike fitting services and advice and offer a 20% discount on all fittings for Above & Beyond riders. 
  7. Learn to use your gears properly. New cyclists are often unwilling to change gear as often as they should, so don’t be scared, play with your gears until it becomes second nature.
  8. Don't forget to take water, a small medical kit, repair kit and helmet with you at all times. Also pack food that you want to eat –energy bars and drinks are hardly ever necessary, and never taste as good as real food. 
  9. It's important to listen to your body and find a good balance between training, rest, work and play. If you're feeling tired, you could try swimming, yoga or another activity.
  10. Although this may sound a bit daunting it is not a race and there are no prizes for the winner! We offer plenty of support and if you feel that you’ve had enough there will be a vehicle that you and your bike can travel in.

Once you've signed up for the challenge, a training guide is provided to help keep you up to speed.

Our group rides are also organised at times throughout the year when you should be aiming to comfortably cover 20, 40 and 60 mile distances.