CYCLING: Clubs join forces to rise to challenge

From Spalding to Paris: Members of Spalding Cycling Club and Spalding Triathlon Club pose in front of the Eiffel Tower after their gruelling 300 mile trip. Photo supplied
From Spalding to Paris: Members of Spalding Cycling Club and Spalding Triathlon Club pose in front of the Eiffel Tower after their gruelling 300 mile trip. Photo supplied
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A GUTSY pack of cyclists from two of our clubs have completed the gruelling 300 mile trip from Spalding to Paris.

Spalding Cycling Club and Spalding Triathlon Club were represented by 17 riders and a support crew, who completed their mammoth trip in around four days.

The successful completion of the challenge was thrown into serious doubt after ferry problems, but the group eventually reached the French capital – and they are already planning a repeat trip next year.

At the end of day one, the riders arrived in London and enjoyed a well-earned rest after what was the longest leg of the ride.

By tea time on the next day they arrived in Newhaven after passing through Surrey and West Sussex.

But the next morning the Spalding squad were hit with the news that the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry crossing had suffered mechanical difficulties and was running approximately fours late.

When the riders eventually arrived in France it was 7pm in the evening – and they were faced with a long night of riding in the dark in order to reach their accommodation.

They eventually arriving in the early hours of day four and, after grabbing a few hours sleep, the riders were back on the road in order to reach Paris and catch the Eurostar back to London.

Before the riders left Paris they took the opportunity to do a ‘lap of honour’ down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, following the route of the famous Tour de France cycle race.

Group leader Martin Halifax said: “The long ride through the deserted French countryside on Monday night turned out to be the highlight of the challenge for the group and for many riders, it was their first experience of a prolonged night time ride.”

By completing the ride, two of the riders successfully raised funds for their chosen charities.

Laurence Brackstone raised money for the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability, and Richard Thompson for the Teenage Cancer Trust.