Andy Sexton - Director of Bike Science cycled from Bristol to Paris with a team raising money for Above and Beyond.
On Friday 29 April, 80 cyclists including Bristol medics, managing directors and even Wonder Woman, swept through Bristol city centre and bid ‘bon voyage’ to family and friends as they set off on our Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge.
In just four days, the intrepid cyclists covered 430km to reach the French capital in an effort to raise £150,000 for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. The funds will provide new, state-of-the-art ultrasound technology which produces 3D images of a child’s heart so complex operations can be carried out with even greater precision. Helping over 350 children in Bristol and the South West who require lifesaving surgery at the hospital every year.
Mayor George Ferguson was at the start line to set off Bristol to Paris 2016 in style from Clifton Suspension Bridge, before cyclists gained an all-important power-boost from the French-themed cheering station filled with family and friends outside Bristol Royal Infirmary.
The cyclists’ first pit stop was Salisbury before they pedal their way to Portsmouth and onwards to Paris where they finished triumphantly at the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Lorna Clarke, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Above & Beyond, said:
“We’re absolutely overwhelmed by the commitment and support of everyone taking part in this year’s Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge. It’s incredibly inspiring to see so many people unite in a common cause and take on this remarkable challenge for their hospitals. We’re extremely grateful to all our cyclists who have been training and fundraising so hard over the last eight months. Their support really will give local children with complex heart conditions a greater chance of enjoying a normal and active childhood.”
One cyclist riding for the cause is Andrew Venn, father of 12-year-old Joe who was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition at birth, had his first shunt fitted at just 72 hours old, his first heart by-pass at four and will receive ongoing treatment throughout his life.
Andrew was inspired by last year’s event and was one of the first to sign up to the challenge along with Joe’s consultant Dr Andrew Tometzki, Lead Consultant in Paediatric Cardiology at Bristol children’s hospital. Andrew Venn commented:
“Eight months of your life – training, fundraising and taking part in the Bristol to Paris Cycle Challenge – will give a number of children their whole lives back.”
Sign up for next years challenge: here