Tour de Force
Report from Head of History Ms Jane Maher on her London to Paris cycle ride…
…another school holiday but this time not China but a grey London as one of 100 cyclists setting off from the crumbling remains of Crystal Palace. This rain-proofed group represented 95 different charities, raising money by embarking on the challenge of pedalling from London to Paris. The first day saw us cover 105 miles, made more painful for me as I fell off within the first 10 miles of setting off! Reaching Dover and embarking the ferry to cross to Calais raised everyone’s spirits even though it was followed by a 10 mile ride to our hotels.
The next two days covered the very ‘undulating’ countryside of Northern France – I wondered at times whether they had confused our group’s route with that of the Tour de France as we had to yet again dig deep to assault another ‘hillock’. Camaraderie and jelly beans sustained us all and it became really enjoyable. Arriving on the outskirts of Paris, we grouped together at the Bois de Boulogne to ride in convoy into Paris centre.
Cycling around the Arc de Triomphe was both heart-stopping and exhilarating and then we crossed the Seine to cycle through the arch of the Eiffel Tower. It was a very emotional moment and especially when many of us spotted friends and family who had come to meet us there.
Raising the money and participating in this event has been one of my best and humbling experiences. Thanks to all the staff, students and parents who have helped me to raise over £4,000 for The Christie. PLEASE join our WiGS 4 Life event on Sunday 16th September to see if we can more than double this amount and hand over a sum which can really make a difference to the work and research that this wonderful place does. Ms Maher’s Just giving page is still open: http:// www.justgiving.com/Jane-Maher