Intrepid John saddles up for 24-hour London to Paris challenge

John Thorogood, right, with riding partner Charles Webb.

John Thorogood, right, with riding partner Charles Webb. - Credit: Archant

Having trekked to Everest Base Camp and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Ely solicitor John Thorogood decided that his next challenge would be on two wheels.

John, of Ward Gethin Archer, was joined by fellow solicitor Charles Webb on a 24-hour bike-riding challenge from London to Paris.

John, 56, is a member of Ely & District Cycling Club, but Charles, 57, only started cycling seriously in the spring of 2013.

They set off on September 6 with 57 other hopefuls from the Millennium Dome on route to Dover, some 90 miles.

John said: “We were both concerned that the challenge would be over if we didn’t meet the deadline to catch the ferry.” Vut both riders made it within the time limit despite the undulations of the South Downs.

The ferry crossing gave time for some rest and a chance of taking on much-needed food, before setting out for Paris, just another 190 miles.

The ride through the night was challenging and dawn didn’t bring any relief as thick fog covered the countryside which not only brought down the temperature, but made for a damp ride.

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As the sun burnt off the fog the temperature rose and mile after mile went by as they headed towards Paris.

The ride in to Paris was eventful as the pair had to negotiate crossing the extremely busy Arc de Triomphe before heading down the Champs Elyses and then finishing under the Eiffel Tower.

John said: “We had done something in the region of 280 miles and whilst we didn’t do it within the 24 hours, just a little over, the sense of achievement was fantastic.”