On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.


By Stuart Lowe on

It rained through the night so in the morning I did my best to dry my tent. Clotilde lent me their foot pump to get my tyres back to pressure. Once they were packed up they set off on their impressive tandem and trailer. I left a couple of minutes behind them. By 10.30 I was in Mantes-la-jolie and once again decided to over-rule my GPS and go the quieter roads. These proved hilly but pleasant and helped by the courteous drivers. In Maule I happened to glimpse Clotilde and Pierre in a bus shelter. I stopped and joined them for lunch. They had just boiled up some minestrone. It was so nice to meet them again. After lunch our paths really did diverge as I headed fort Saint Germain and they went more south.



Reunited with Clotilde and Pierre for lunch



On the outskirts of Saint Germain I stopped at a shopping centre for free WiFi and to buy a plug adapter (needlessly it would turn out because I had my worldwide one with me and had forgotten about it). It was at this point that the long threatened rain finally came. Thankfully I was under shelter.

After the deluge had abated I set off again through the charming Saint Germain end Laye. Over the river again I ignored my Gps's claim of 45 miles and went along a pleasant riverside bike path. It eventually turned into quiet, one-way Road. I was going the wrong way but the signs said "sauf velos" so I was OK. It explained why my GPS wasn't happy. Back over the bridge I was hoping to get into Paris before the rush hour. I may have been helped by a public holiday as it was fairly quiet and much easier riding than London.

I reached Port Maillot and then another mile to the Arc de Triomphe for an obligatory photo opportunity. Here I got a proper French crepe with Nutella for two-thirds the price of one on Brighton pier.

Port Maillot

Arrival at the Arc de Triomphe

Champs Elysse