Cycling from London to Paris – ME!

10th May 2016

Supporter Heidi Sansome recently took on a London to Paris cycle ride for us, raising a fantastic £3,300 in the process. She tells her tale to inspire others here

Heidi London to Paris

“So, I’ve completed my charity challenge and what an adventure it was! ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE, found out what I was made of and it’s pretty tough stuff! Glad I had trained hard and indeed over the winter and that set me in good stead.”

“Cycling from London to Paris – ME! Never thought I could but I did it! An OVERWEIGHT NEARING 40 mum of two – just shows how far grit and determination will get you!”

“234 miles (well, 241 actually as I got lost in Northern France for about half an hour with no phone signal!). By far the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”

“Left Friday 15th April from Twickenham – eight hours cycling in constant wind, rain and hail up some massive hills through the North and South Downs, chain came off four times, my overshoes broke and there was a pedestrian who tried to commit suicide by cyclist.”

“Got to Portsmouth, a bit wet for an overnight ferry with four to a cabin and an uncomfortable bed, a couple of hours sleep but the promise of some sunshine at the other end! Sailed to Caen where the next day – it was raining.” 

“More hills (whoever said France was flat was fibbing!), but some pretty countryside, lots of steak frites and tartes tatin got us to Evreux and a slightly more comfortable campanile bed! Then day three – some sunshine finally and after I re-joined the group for lunch following my little deviation from the route early afternoon we were all ecstatic to be told it was only another 20 miles into Paris.” 

Magical glimpse of the Eiffel Tower

“The first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower from several miles out was magical and cycling up the Champs Elysees escorted by our support vans, pedalling around the Arc de Triomphe, dodging mad drivers, was simply out of this world – right up to the Eiffel Tower to be sprayed with champagne and accosted by Japanese tourists for photos with our bikes.”

“I’ll admit I did shed a little tear while on the phone to my hubby and kids – for Simon, the brother we lost to meningococcal septicaemia and also from sheer exhaustion and pride. I know Si would have been cheering me on.”

“I always said that it would be neither quick nor pretty but I wasn’t the slowest (one 23-year-old lad had to be stopped and brought forwards to save his knee!) and the support crew seemed to know what response they would get if they did try to ‘put me in the van’, but it was never an issue.”

“A wonderful experience that I’ll never forget, with nine other (proper) cyclists, all raising money for different worthwhile causes .  I’ve made some friends for life and am so pleased with my fundraising total, although there’s still time for it to increase.”

“If anyone’s thinking of doing something like this, go for it! I’d happily recommend the company that organised our trip – Charity Challenge and also Adventurous Ewe, who do lots of activity-based trips (charity and private) in this country and all over the world.”

“Many thanks again for your support and I hope the money I’ve raised will help Meningitis Now." (It will, thank you Heidi, ed).

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