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London to Paris in 24 hours – by bike

London to Paris in 24 hours – by bike

Two little children were jumping up and down on the kerb, excitedly clutching homemade banners emblazoned with the words “you can do it.”

I half-wished I’d brought a banner along myself – just to cheer my husband and teenage son on their way.

It was noon on Saturday and while most sensible people I know were looking forward to a weekend of Wimbledon or soaking up the sunshine my whole family was quaking in its boots. Why? Because a few months back my son talked my husband into doing the London to Paris 24 cycling event together.

He’d spotted the gruelling 280-mile bike ride online and was so excited he’d signed up on the spot – then convinced his dad to do it too. They each had to raise £1,200 in sponsorship for the charity Scope and train like hell.

If I’d read a web page like this I would have run a mile but they thought it would be terrific. This is what it said:

“Blackheath, London. Saturday 6th July 2013. Three hundred excited riders start out on a journey through the night they won’t forget. An opening 90-mile dash to Dover – the ferry won’t wait! Darkness falls...

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