David Clegg London to Paris – July 2017

David Clegg London to Paris – July 2017

I was inveigled into taking part in this year’s Moneycorp London to Paris cycle ride in aid of World Bicycle Relief.  The aim was to raise money to buy bicycles for developing countries, especially for young girls, students and medical workers.  The provision of these bicycles means that education becomes a possibility for many, the young girls are safer, and the medical workers can get to more patients.  With such worthwhile ambitions, I could hardly say no.

Therefore, on July 20, 19 real cyclists and myself set out from London for a 520km ride over three days, ending in Paris in time for the last stage of the Tour de France.  Starting off from the famous Herne Hill Velodrome in South London, we threaded our way through the city toward Dover.  You will not believe how many hills there are in what we think of as flat Kent, garden of England!!  Braving the occasional downpour, we reached the ferry as the light was beginning to fade.

A short overnight stay in Dunkirk was followed by a smooth ride into Belgium, where we stopped at the Menin Gate and Tyne Cot WW1 memorials to remember those who lost their lives 100 years ago.

The second velodrome on the itinerary, in Roubaix, France, houses the end of the classic Paris Roubaix race.  A few laps after lunch and it was onto the most challenging stage of the ride: the 14km ride over the infamous cobbles, or pavé.  Even padded cycling shorts do NOT give much protection!  Neveretheless, we made it to the town of Cambrai, France, after 190km in the saddle.

Day three featured some gentle climbs and windy flat sections, where riding in groups helped save tired legs before the final push into Paris – much like Emperor penguins in Antarctica.  The cobbles of the Champs-Élysées seemed tame by comparison with the previous day’s efforts.  Everyone cruised past the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower to celebrate our achievement.  After a well-earned night’s rest, it was time to see the pros in action for the final stage of the Tour de France.

I would like to thank everyone for their generous support, which contributed towards me raising sufficient funds for the charity to purchase 13 bicycles!!!  Overall, the team raised over £18,000, meaning that a grand total of 190 bikes could be bought.  Amazingly, the major sponsors of the charity said that they would double this amount of bicycles.

PS It is still possible to sponsor my ride to buy even more bicycles, by clicking here. 

Click here to see a static view of the pics all in one go – with a video at the end.  NB you need to click twice to view the video.

 

4 Comments

  1. Graeme Adlum

    Brilliant achievement David. Well done.
    Finally caught up with the photos and videos before they are “culled” by Arnold.

  2. Congratulations David – quite remarkable. Lovely to see the photos and video.

  3. Vey well done to you David and all the team. Your achievement will make a massive difference to so many people. You should feel very proud of what you have done.

  4. A fantastic achievement, David! Well done, especially on getting over the pave. 13 bicycles, eh? Brilliant!

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