18 Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire residents are preparing to cycle from Bucks to Paris in order to raise money for charity on 18 May 2017.
Their epic journey will be starting in Long Crendon, home to a large proportion of the team. The journey will comprise three days totaling over 300 miles.
The ambitious amateur cyclists are currently fundraising to support four charities that many of the team have close personal links with, including: Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, St David’s Hospice Care, Alzheimer’s UK Research and Save the Children (Children in War appeal).
The team hopes to raise over £20,000 and have currently raised over £13,000 to date.
Setting off from the Village Square in Long Crendon the team have a long first day with 115 miles to reach the ferry in Newhaven by 4pm.
On day two the team set off from Dieppe to the French market town of Beauvais some 70 miles away.
Day three has the triumphant arrival into Paris with the 18 strong Peloton sweeping past the Arc de Triumph, down the Champs-Élysées before crossing the river to the Eiffel Tower.
With 18 men ranging in age from 57 to a 40 years old, they have found training on top of being Dads and working full time in high-pressured careers makes lengthy weekend training rides challenging.
Team members feel passionately about helping charities that helped their own families and understand that the amazing work the charities do is often only possible through these charitable donations
The trip is the brainchild of Long Crendon Residents Alex Koch de Gooreynd & Sam Hassan, who hatched this plan while commuting into London.
Alex said: “a passing comment to Sam one morning whilst on the 7.09 to Marylebone has turned into something incredible, with 18 like-minded lads all up for the challenge and helping to raise some needed funds for some truly great causes”.
Sam Orwin said: “I undertook a cycle challenge in 2015 to fundraise for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) following my daughter’s surgery there in 2014 for a rare spinal condition.
"I have undertaken to ride 300 miles from Long Crendon (near Oxford) to Paris averaging 100 miles a day in the saddle, to raise money for GOSH and the St David’s Hospice who support people with life threatening illnesses and their families. My twin brother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer last year and is receiving palliative care from the amazing team at St David’s Hospice”.
“Milly’s rare spinal condition means that we have been regular visitors to GOSH since her surgery in 2014 and she will require further surgery later this year to replace the growth rod in her spine. My two week stay in the HDU with Milly was a humbling experience, and the memories remain fresh despite the passage of time.
"Most of the children there have significantly more complex underlying conditions than Milly’s and many of whom will never get to go home. The devotion, care and professionalism of the staff at GOSH, despite the often challenging and distressing circumstances, still inspires me”.
Team Members: Alex Koch de Gooreynd, Peter Koch de Gooreynd, Sam Hassan, Neil Lawrence, Sam Orwin, Hugh Anderson, Steve Hamilton, Simon Deakin, Jon Ghazi, Joel Peters, Ed Croft Baker, Sean Elkins, Matt Keegan, Andy Weir, Rupert Cooper, Jon Maddison, Jon Roberts, Cameron Branston