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Mid-Life Tandem Crisis

16 January 2020

A group of friends are cycling from Buckingham Palace to Pisa to support the Foundation...on tandems!

Mark Lees explains there challenge and why they are embarking on this adventure.

Mark said: "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 nothing 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 Neuron Disease (MND)."

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

Mark continued: "What we would really like if everyone could get behind us and sponsor us for each mile we cycle."

The story so far :-

Mark Lees, James Wheaton and Richard Smith 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 Gumbiti-Zimuto joins Mark,  James and Andrew then cycle from Lyon to The Leaning Tower of Pisa. At Genoa - Charlie Hunter and Teddy Hewins 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."

Their 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 

Mark explained: "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 their bike daily and at the end of the trip will be used for the sponsorship - definitely not more than 1200 miles!

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

They are determined to achieve their goal, "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!" said Mark.

Follow their adventure and support their Tandem Ride via their fundraising page:

My Name'5 Doddie Foundation Logo - Motor Neurone Disease Charity
Mid-Life Tandem Crisis

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