A SOLIHULL trio who pedalled their way from London to Paris have raised over £4,000 for a blood cancer charity.
Local residents Neil Carpenter, Rachael Wong and Ian Shirley joined former England footballer Geoff Thomas and more than 200 fellow cyclists for the 500km challenge with the aim of collectively raising £500,000 for Birmingham-based charity Cure Leukaemia.
Cycling in memory of his wife Vanessa, who left behind three young children when she lost her battle with blood cancer in 2013, 52-year-old insurance broker Neil Carpenter from Whitefields Crescent said the ride was tougher than expected.
He added: “Not being a cyclist of any description the thought of a 500km trip from London to Paris over four days was daunting to say the least.
“However it was for such a great cause and the support leading up to and during the event was second to none.
“I suspect every person participating felt every single mental emotion during the four days from despair to elation and pushed their bodies to their physical limits.”
Completing the race alongside Neil, 46-year-old Rachel Wong from Bentley Heath and Ian Shirley, aged 52 from Monkspath, the pair said the French countryside made the challenging ride more bearable.
Experienced cyclist and Managing Director of Logomotif graphic design and print company in Longbridge, Ian, said: “The journey was immensely satisfying in so many ways – beautiful scenery, healthy competition, French hospitality, the friendship of my fellow cyclists and the common bond we shared in raising funds for a most worthwhile cause.”
And despite being a novice biker, pilates instructor Rachel said she was delighted her efforts went some way to have supported a local charity with ‘enormous reach and potential in its field.’
Cure Leukaemia funds a network of specialist research nurses to administer clinical trials of potentially lifesaving drugs to leukaemia patients who have exhausted all options through the NHS.
And the work the charity is currently undertaking the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, aims to help the fight against blood cancers on a national and international scale.
For more information on their riders, or to donate visit www.justgiving.com/NeilCarpenter99 or www.justgiving.com/ianshirley2/