Congratulations to our Provincial Communications Manager, Robin Evans, who arrived in Paris on the afternoon of Saturday 8th June, after having set off from London by bike on the previous Wednesday morning.

Day one took him a total of 86 miles from Blackheath Common to Dunkerque in France, via swathes of our challenging North Downs including climbing the Cat4 Charing Hill (Distance 1.6 km, Ave gradient:5.8%, Max gradient:9.2% Elevation gain:92m) just before a well-deserved lunch.

As if climbing more than 4500ft in Kent on Wednesday was not enough, day two saw him break the century and cycle 103 miles, in cross-winds, through the Hauts-de-France region to Cambrai.

Day three was the shortest mileage of the four days with a mere 76 miles of pedalling. However the route taking the group from Cambrai to Soissons, one of the most ancient towns of France, began to turn into the wind. This combined with the continual rolling hills of the eastern Somme region and the numerous roadside military cemeteries made it a physically and emotionally draining day for all involved.

A poignant moment near to the source of the Somme in Fonsommes

Saturday morning saw everyone involved shake off their aches and pains to head into the jaws of a predominant south-westerly breeze to tackle the originally planned 79 miles into Paris. In the end Robin covered just over 350 miles in the saddle, as the final routes had to be modified on the day to accommodate the ongoing preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympics and the state visit of President Biden. That said, he still managed to cycle part of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and around the Arc de Triomphe before arriving at the Trocadero overlooking the Eiffel Tower for the customary photo opportunities.

Robin’s chosen charity, for which he has already raised in excess of £3300, is our own Kent Mark Benevolent Fund, as you can see from his final day jersey.

When Chair of the KMBF Trustees, Perri Ahmet spoke, he told us “We can’t thank Robin enough for his amazing efforts. I followed his every mile, on social media of course! I hope that he has started a chain reaction and cranked things up for others who like to would like to raise funds on our behalf.”

His JustGiving Page remains open for a week or so, should you wish to sponsor him.