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26 %
raised of £10,000 target
by 33 supporters
Mark Lees avatar
Mark Lees

Mid-Life Tandem Crisis

Cycling from London to Pisa for My Name'5 Doddie Foundation because Doddie inspires us all with his bravery

26 %
raised of £10,000 target
by 33 supporters

My Name'5 Doddie Foundation

We Fund research and raise awareness of MND to help anyone touched by MND.

Charity Registration No. SCo47871


We are a bunch of unfit, fat friends nearing 60 with one last challenge in us before we retire to golf or gardening.

We are NOT cycle enthusiasts just guys that refuse to believe that anything is impossible if you really put your mind to it.

Our plan is to cycle by tandem from Buckingham Palace to The Leaning Tower of Pisa in one mad dash of about 1200 miles across Europe - averaging about 70 miles a day.

We do this in the memory of one of my oldest friends, John Spearman, who I recently lost to Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

Doddie Weir - ex-Scotland rugby international - is currently fighting the same terrible disease with bravery and good humour and is raising funds for research into MND via his My Name'5 Doddie Foundation.

All the funds raised from our tandem ride will go directly to the Foundation.

What we would really like is if everyone could get behind us and sponsor us for each mile we cycle.

The story so far :-

Mark, James and Richard tandem and cycle from Buckingham Palace, London to Lyon.

We are expecting quite a peloton of friends to wave us off and join us on the first day's cycle to Newhaven - they will all come back by train when we jump on the ferry!

at Lyon Richard leaves and Andrew joins

Mark, James and Andrew then cycle from Lyon to The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

at Genoa - Charlie and Teddy join for the last 2 days.

This is our plan to date but we are still talking to guys who may want to join - so although we have a definite core this may grow before the day.

Our proposed route is :-

Day 1 - London to Newhaven - 60 miles - Newhaven to Dieppe by ferry 

Day 2 - Dieppe to Rouen to Evereux - 76 miles

Day 3 - Evereux to Chartres to Orleans - 95 miles

Day 4 - Orleans to Sancerre - 72 miles

Day 5 - Sancerre to Moulins - 72 miles

Day 6 - Moulins to Roanne - 70 miles

Day 7 - Roanne to Lyon - 51 miles

Day 8 - Sunday - a day of rest!

Day 9 - Lyon to Valence - 65 miles

Day 10 - Valence to Avignon - 85 miles

Day 11 - Avignon to Aix en Provence - 50 miles

Day 12 - Aix en Provence to Frejus - 76 miles

Day 13 - Frejus to Nice - 40 miles

Day 14 - Nice to Imperia (Italy!) - 60 miles

Day 15 - Imperia to Genoa - 76 miles

Day 16 - Genoa to La Spezia - 50 miles

Day 17 - La Spezia to Pisa - 70 miles 

...and we know this only adds up to 1068 miles but in reality it is always longer than the stated miles.... 

The actual distance travelled will be registered on our bike daily and at the end of the trip will be used for the sponsorship - definitely not more than 1200 miles!

We will issue maps and photos along the way via Instagram so you can all share the pain and pleasure.....

In reality it may take us longer - but be sure - we will get there whatever it takes!

Will you support us? - I hope you will.

With my very grateful thanks,



  • Day 1 - Buckingham Palace to Newhaven then Ferry to Dieppe
  • Day 2 - Part 1 - Dieppe to Rouen for Breakfast +23