Penny Farthing Duo Reach Paris in 5 Days

Friends Matt Richardson and Bill Pollard reached Paris in 5 days as planned on Wednesday at 4.30pm riding their Penny Farthings.

The duo rode 230 miles, averaging around 40 miles a day.  They set off on Saturday from Market Place having raised £14,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support with the total now topping £17,000 after completing the ride.  Matt recovered from throat cancer last year and want to raise money for Macmillan for the support he and Bill received from them.

On day 5 the friends looked like they had a easy ride of 32 miles into the capital however there were obstacles to overcome on the way.  Matt said, “We began with a leg-sapping descent in the rush hour, at the bottom of which was a traffic accident, bin men, gendarmes and cobbles to negotiate. That was the warm up.  Our route took us onto what seemed to be part of the Paris motorway system. Further along we encountered overgrown paths, although no match for the pith helmets. We also had long climbs in beautiful parks, and one ascent close to the end of 13%  which almost destroyed us.  Meanwhile Dave our support driver was battling with technology which couldn’t apparently distinguish bike tracks from motorways from cul-de-sacs, as he valiantly managed our rendezvouses.  We stopped for lunch in Parc de Saint Cloud with only a six mile glory leg to go, only to be told by the manager that the exit from the park we were due to take was closed due to subsidence. So operation Escape from Saint Cloud commenced. Bill took on one switchback descent too many and without a handy haystack had to eject in a style that was not of his choosing.  We then had to negotiate heavy Paris traffic, and innumerable pre-Olympic roadworks, whilst we tried to join up with our proper route. We were helped by a Parisian called Elliot, who later confessed he had led us on a bad route as we tried to keep up with his weaving in and out of the traffic. And we carried our bikes up long flights of stairs to cross the bridge which would get us back on track.”
We will be catching up with Matt and Bill next week to bring you a more detailed article on ups and downs of their epic challenge.

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