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In Full . . .

220 miles, no punctures!

Posted on September 20 2013 at 12:07:34

Paris riders

Four villagers were among a group of cyclists who rode from ‘Arch to Arc’. Mat Porton takes up the story . . .

Five riders took part in our trip: Neil Edwards, Stuart Campbell, Adrian Bytom, Hugh Bridge and me. Four of us are local to Barnt Green, Blackwell and Alvechurch and are parents of children at the local schools.

The ride was from “Arch to Arc” – Marble Arch in London to the Arc de Triomphe, Paris – and in all we rode just under 220 miles along a route from London down to Newhaven and then on to Paris from Dieppe.

We rode unsupported and carried all the gear we needed for the trip, staying in B&B accommodation along the way. We left London early on Thursday September 12 and arrived in Paris on the following Sunday afternoon.

The whole trip was organised and funded by ourselves and, having never done anything like this before, the planning and preparation was a big learning curve.

The riding was challenging due to the distances and some hillier sections, but we all managed well and no one lost their sense of humour. 

Amazingly we had no punctures and no mechanical breakdowns, although we were pretty well prepared for both. 

The weather was mixed but never bad enough for long enough to mar the enjoyment and on Sunday in Paris the weather was bright and sunny for us.

We were all tired afterwards, but happy to have achieved something really satisfying and I would thoroughly recommend the trip.

We have been raising money for the Cardiomyopathy Association, a support group for those affected by heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy).

In 1994 my brother Simon died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and about 12 years ago I found out that I am also affected to a lesser extent. 

This means that my children also have a chance of inheriting the condition and developing it to some extent during their lives. 

Through all of these events the Cardiomyopathy Association has provided valued support to my family to help us deal with all sorts of issues that we needed assistance with.
 
They also provide very important educational information and support to the public to help improve awareness of these conditions which often first surface with growing adolescent children, sometimes only when the child suffers a cardiac arrest. 

Identification of the symptoms and diagnosis is critically important to ensure that those suffering can be treated and protected against such dire eventualities.

See http://www.cardiomyopathy.org/

If anyone would like to support the fundraising, see Mat’s Justgiving page: http://www.justgiving.com/Mat-Porton

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