Punctures, broken wheels and even a crash could not stop a group of old school friends complete their Worthing to Paris cycle ride.
The team of 11 men set themselves the challenge of cycling 300 miles in four days to raise money for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) Trust.
They set off from Sea Lane Café at on Thursday morning and faced mechanical problems and wet weather along the way. They did not let that stop them, though, and have now raised more than £15,000.
Most of the group, dubbed Team KTDA Worthing, were born and bred in Worthing and still live in the town. Joining them was old friend Peter Latos, who is now based in Moscow.
Peter said: “We made it to Paris and back in one piece – just about.
“Despite the slightly damp conditions as we set off, the weather was fairly kind to us over the 97 miles to Dover with the wind on our backs for most of the journey.
“Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for our mechanical luck. David had two punctures before we had even reached Brooklands Park and I had a blow out on my rear tyre, which resulted in a crash coming into Eastbourne. David then managed to break a spoke coming into Dover but we all arrived safely at the hotel.”
Day two started with a puncture for Eli and a broken pedal for Mark before they boarded the ferry.
The cyclists were greeted in Calais by wet, windy and cold conditions that lasted for the 80 miles to Abbeville.
“Our spirits were temporarily lifted when Gaston at Opale Vélo Services was able to repair both the broken spoke and pedal but the enduring weather conditions, a puncture for Gary, another broken spoke for David, and slight de tour due to a wrong turn tested our resolve,” added Peter.
“But pulling together as a team and remembering why we were undertaking the challenge helped to see us through to the end of the day.”
Shoes were dried off overnight and the sun was shining the next morning but soon the heavens opened again.
Peter said: “Fortunately, the weather started to clear by lunchtime and a great ride into Grandvillers at speed helped to lift the spirits once again.
“With only about 70 miles to cover, the team were pleased to arrive at the hotel by 4pm for a well-earned rest.”
Everyone was in good spirits on Sunday for the last 60 miles from Beauvais to Paris.
“Despite a couple of punctures and a new tyre for Mark on the outskirts of Paris, and a couple of low speed falls, we arrived at the Trocadéro for our celebratory photos in one piece,” added Peter.
“A quick lap around a somewhat chaotic Arc de Triomphe brought our journey to a fitting end, with smiles on everyone’s faces.
“We certainly couldn’t have completed our journey with the support and well wishes of family, friends and strangers along the way, and our guides Matt and Tony from Maximum Adventure.”
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