Trevor's Independent Pedallers London - Paris - Peckham
Turbo challenge goes XL
Turbo challenge goes XL
On Saturday 12th April, LLR Team Essex were invited to support #Benchmark Trevor Jackson's London to Paris fundraising. With Trevor about £100 shy of his £1000 target we were all keen to put on a good show. The plan was to set up our turbos and cycle the 311 miles distance of this year's route.
The team arrived at Trevor's Wickes store in Braintree at 7am to set up and were greeted with a lovely cup of tea from the lovely Jo whilst we set up the turbos and cake stall. The early starters were Trevor, Lee Bedingfield, Keiran Adkins and Daren White, ably supported by "The Collector" Angela Jackson (who was also celebrating her birthday in a way probably never to be repeated**) and our inspiration Jade Bedingfield (12), along with sister Amy (8) and Deryn White (9).
With 3 bikes and an exercise bike set up trip computers were synchronised and we set off at 7:35am. The early pace was impressive but somewhat daunting as we wondered whether it could be maintained, knowing that reinforcements James Burns and Dave Hatch would not be arriving for at least a few hours. With a stack of bananas that any zoo would be proud of and plenty of water the team made good time and the customers of Wickes appreciated the effort and the cakes as the buckets began to fill. The kids were doing a great job too with Jade in particular putting in some long stints, so keen was she to be a part of the fundraising for a charity that worked so hard for her when she was just a baby. Her determination was inspiration enough but then those of us on the bikes were told by Angela that a lady who wished to remain anonymous had just donated and explained that she herself had Lymphoma and thanked us for all our effort. That really made it real again, we weren't just a group of MAMILs looking daft in a DIY Superstore, we were making a difference to real people.
At around 10 we had already covered 200 miles and one foolish individual jokingly suggested we might consider doing a few more miles if we reached the 311 early. To Angela, this constituted a written agreement and that was that, Trevor's turbo challenge suddenly went XL!
We reached Paris at 12:05pm and were feeling strong so after a quick baguette du bacon from le burger van in le parking we set off on the return journey. Joined by James Burns and daughter Jamie-Lee, we took advantage and allowed each early starter to stretch their legs a little whilst James kicked in a very fast pace. Keiran's partner Laura and young Tyler came along to add their support as did Claire White and Mandy Bedingfield. The extra people around really helped pass those hours on the turbos and the kids were great a running the cake stall as well as doing their bits on the exercise bike.
Dave Hatch & family arrived at around 3 and although still struggling from a his fall a few weeks ago, Dave jumped on to complete 25 miles of his own, a great effort with only one working arm! Birthday song sung to Angela, the slice of cake was very welcome as bananas were losing their appeal. Laura's flapjacks were another welcome addition to keep the energy up.
Keiran was motoring, determined to get the Team Leader role for our next team ride but his unique saddle position to minimize the impact on the rear was quite a sight. Forget twerking, Keiran has taken this to a whole new level! As the pain of the hours in the saddles kicked in, Wickes' 99p sponges started to look like very comfortable bike additions and the Karcher pressure washers looked like they had potential for a misting process as temperature rose.
We were also pleased to meet Terry Joyce who had come along to support us and hopped on the exercise bike to clock up some valuable miles himself. This was a real team effort with Jade herself totalling 50 miles by the end of the day!
4pm came and with various speed attempts having taken place throughout the day, Lee Bedingfield decided it was now or never for his legs and gave one final push, clocking a very impressive 58.7mph top speed, narrowly pipping Daren's 58mph to claim the sprinter's jersey. We could all see Keiran wanted to go again but common sense and 100+ miles took over and he sensibly resisted.
At 4:45 a distance check showed only 14 miles to go and each bike needed to clock 3.5 miles to the finish. Those last few miles were the longest miles ever and we were all really feeling it but at 4:50 622 miles were completed and we had achieved DOUBLE what we set out to achieve. Not only that, we had had a 'fun' day with great people, family and the staff and customers of Wickes Braintree and in the process we had raised over £300 in store and through the power of social networks, the messages of support from @josmith1979 @BackonTrack00 @steverogerspt & numerous retweets from Geoff Thomas, Wickes and others led to an additional wave of donations online bringing the total for the day to £379.
Thanks to Wickes, CyclesUK and everyone who took part, supported us or donated. Also thanks to Angela for giving up her birthday, we hope you enjoyed that bottle of Chateau Neuf du Pap.
We are all feeling it now but we'll be back out on the roads in no time.
** never say never when riding with Trevor!