Norfolk charity cyclists pedal to Paris
Mary HamiltonNine Norfolk cyclists - including MP Norman Lamb - set out this morning to tackle the Pedal to Paris in aid of the Royal British Legion.Norfolk Nomads blog and donation informationMore about the Pedal to Paris from the Royal British LegionMary Hamilton
Nine Norfolk cyclists - including MP Norman Lamb - set out this morning to tackle the Pedal to Paris in aid of the Royal British Legion.
The six-strong Norfolk Nomads team, along with three other Norfolk riders - and 170 others from around the country - set off from London at 8am on the first leg of the 280-mile journey to Paris.
The cyclists rode 80 miles to Dover today before boarding a ferry to Calais, where they will ride another few miles to their overnight accommodation.
Tomorrow they will continue to pedal through France towards Paris and the event finishes under full police escort at the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday.
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Cyclist Gillian Page designed a dress from poppies provided by the Royal British Legion, and she has been raising money by inviting people to guess the number of flowers used in its creation.
She is joined on the road as part of Norfolk Nomads by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, his son Ned Lamb, EDP reporter Ed Foss, ITV producer Mike Talbot, and Phil Webster, political editor of The Times.
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Fakenham-based Royal British Legion county manager Kate Williams is also making the trip, and Cromer mayor Hilary Thompson is tackling the event with friend Jackie Abbs.
Speaking from Dover this afternoon Mr Lamb said he was pleased to have made it through the first long ride.
'According to my speedometer I averaged 14mph, which is not bad for an unfit 51-year-old,' he said. 'There have been a couple of incidents - I nearly rode into the back of a BMW, and I almost ended up on the motorway at a junction.
'But we have all got here in one piece - apart from aching legs and muscles.'
EDP reporter Ed Foss said: 'The weather was perfect - a bit of wind behind us and no rain at all. Today was meant to be the hardest day, and I'm very optimistic about tomorrow.'
Today's ride through England was the hardest part of the route, and saw the cyclists tackling steep hills including a long steep stretch just outside Dover.
For more information visit the Norfolk Nomads blog or the Royal British Legion.