Having decided to take on a cycling challenge in 2014, I was really pleased when my employer PageGroup UK chose Alzheimer’s Research UK as their charity partner. As my grandmother and my wife’s grandmother both had dementia, this has always been a charity very close to my heart.
With that in mind, I decided to try and put a small cycling team together from my organisation, PageGroup and cycle from London to Paris to raise some much needed funds for our corporate charity Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Allan Waller, Amy O’Shea and I set off from Crystal Palace at 6am with minimal training along with 110 other cyclists of mixed ability earlier this month.
The first day was without question one of the best days cycling of my life. 105 miles in perfect conditions to Dover and ultimately the outskirts of Calais.
This was one the hardest cycling days of my life but also one of the most challenging days; full stop. Calais to Abbeville is around 75 miles.
We faced a 30mph headwind and driving rain for six hours. We rode on open roads through moorland with no respite from the conditions. A miserable day!
Abbeville to Beauvais around 70 miles. The sun came out and we enjoyed a terrific day of cycling through stunning countryside. We flew to the finish and drank a glass of wine in celebration.
> 301.1 miles cycled
> 19,981 calories burned
> Top speed 44mph
> 16,761 feet climbed
> 3 punctures
> 1 very sore derriere
Beauvais to Paris – a short ride of just 50 miles. The highlight was riding in convoy through the centre of Paris, Arc de Triomphe and La Tour Eiffel then finally seeing my wife, children and our friends, an emotional end to an amazing trip.
The ride was a great test on many levels and one I will never forget.
We are pleased and proud to have raised £10,242 for Alzheimer’s Research UK and we also felt that we earned the sponsorship during this challenge!