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Plucky Paris cyclists raise £10k for Pilgrims

Posted on 8 July 2013

Ten determined cyclists from Folkestone overcame gale force winds and more when they cycled 190 miles from Calais to Paris for Pilgrims Hospices.

On Saturday 29th June, the group known as ‘Le Seasiders’ presented a cheque for £10,317 to the charity.

Steve Mills, one of the riders, “After the recent funeral of one of our friends who was cared for and passed away at the hospice we wanted to do something to support the charity. We decided to get together and cycle for sponsorship. It was also the 10th Anniversary of our very best friend Cas Taylor passing away so we wanted to do something to mark the date. He too was cared for by Pilgrims. ”

Considering eight of the team didn’t own a road bike and had limited fitness when they decided to ride, this was a huge challenge to take on. “When we mounted the bikes for the 70 miles on the first day, not one of us had actually ridden 70 miles let alone 190,” said Steve. “In fact one nameless member of our group went for his first ride the weekend before we met.”

The cycling team faced challenges from day 1 with 70 miles to cover and a 30mph head wind gusting to 50mph. They often found themselves struggling to pedal down hill. But to everyone’s credit they all kept pushing the pedal and after day 2, 3 and 4 we found themselves after many wrong turns and the odd fall at the bottom of the Eiffel tower.

Steve says the efforts were well worth it to secure the donation for Pilgrims, “What truly amazed me about the Pilgrims Hospice and the staff was not only the Love and care they have for their patients but for the family, carers and friends as well. The pain endured on the ride was made easy as we watched the sponsorship money roll in.“

Sharon Burberry, fundraising assistant with Pilgrims congratulated the team on what she said was an “amazing achievement”. She added: “I cannot imagine cycling the 180 miles to Paris. Over 80p in every pound raised goes directly to patient care so this will enable us to continue to provide care to the people in need of it in east Kent.”


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