Where to start?!?
Anyone who knows me will know the story, anyone who doesn't is about to find out.....
Two years ago after lots of training, myself and a group of friends embarked on a bike ride from London to Paris. The week we were due to set off Laura was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She was adamant she still wanted me to go, so we set off on a cold wet morning on a grueling 80 mile trek from Buckingham Palace to Portsmouth...after over 6 hours of pedaling we arrived, got showered and then spent over an hour stuck in a lift...my week couldn't get any worse right? Well the kind lady at the ferry port duly obliged in making it so by informing me my passport had expired by 7 days (hence the name of the group.) I had to abandon my ride and was dropped in the pouring rain with my bag outside the station to make my way home, tail between my legs.
Fast forward to 6 months later and with Laura's illness being diagnosed as terminal Laura, Ava and myself were spending the weekend in a beautiful windmill that was organised and funded by the Willow Foundation, sadly two weeks after this Laura lost her fight and passed away. What was left was a great lasting memory, all thanks to the Willow Foundation.
So that brings us to today: a group of Laura's work colleagues, friends and my friends have agreed to help me finally reach Paris! Some are cyclists already, some have not ridden a bike since they had stabilisers (some might still need them. We will be undertaking the 200+ mile ride over three days and as well as some aches and pains we hope to be able to enjoy it and even manage a glass of bubbly at the Eiffel Tower.
As well as the ride to Paris, a few of us have also signed up to do the London Ride 100 which as the name suggests is a 100 mile ride two weeks before the big London to Paris (L2P) event.
So feel free to wish us luck and please if you can, be kind enough to spare some money and donate to a great charity to give us some encouragement to pedal those miles.
Who is doing what:
Peter (Passport) Sharman - Ride London100 + L2P
David Hollowell - Ride London100 + L2P
David Gillies - L2P
Matthew Wells - Ride London100 + L2P
Charlie Benton - L2P
Andy Bate - L2P
Simon Le Page - LP2
Joff Verby - Ride London100 + L2P
Anna (Spanna) Gudaniec - L2P
Joff and Anna are also riding in memory of Jen Martindale, who, like Laura, lost her fight with breast cancer. Jen passed away in June 2015, having enjoyed a weekend trip to London in July 2014, arranged by Willow Foundation. During her trip to London, Jen went for a spin on a ‘Boris’ bike (in what was to be her final ride on a bike) and was proposed to by her boyfriend Matt (they tied the knot in December 2014). A truly special and memorable weekend thanks to Willow.