Three SEC Storage heroes have just returned from Paris after an exhausting 240 mile bike ride. Steve Watts, Gary Kirk and Dean Kahl set off from London with 55 other riders, and were in the saddle for three days for the Transaid London to Paris Cycle Challenge.
The trio had topped their £5,000 fund-raising target even before they’d put on their lycra for the first leg of the journey. They raised even more throughout the journey and the money is still coming in, raising £6,201 to date.
None of the three had much experience of road cycling before the event. Although Dean is a cyclist, he prefers mountain biking, Gary is more of a runner, and MD Steve has never claimed to be an athlete of any sort, but does cycle to work...occasionally! However, they joined forces for the challenge in order to raise money for Transaid which provides safe, sustainable transport and training in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dean Kahl, Marketing Manager explains why they agreed to do the challenge:
“We had previously sponsored a bicycle ambulance for Transaid, meaning that expectant mothers are able to get to hospital and give birth in a safe healthcare environment. To date as part of Transaid’s More MAMaZ programme 4,105 women have been transferred to health facilities. This type of healthcare is something we take for granted in the UK.
“We were inspired to do even more for this fantastic charity and so decided to don the lycra, train hard and take on the 240 mile, 3 day challenge!”
Overcoming personal challenges
The first leg of the journey was 82 miles between London and Portsmouth, taking in both the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and South Downs National Park.
Then the cyclists had a well-earned sleep on the overnight ferry to Caen before cycling 85 miles to Évreux.
On the final day they ‘only’ had to cycle 73 miles to the centre of Paris.
One of the hardest parts of the journey was taking on the infamous 17% gradient Bexley Hill in West Sussex. A challenging climb where Dean achieved the 3rd best time of all the challenge participants.
However, it was all worth it as they cycled through the centre of Paris around the Arc de Triomphe and down the Champs-Élysées finishing at the iconic Eiffel Tower in a peloton of 58 riders.
The team would like to pass on their thanks to all their corporate sponsors and personal donations that have been made, including: Madison, Cariad Marketing, TekOne Technologis, Storax, BrayFoxSmith, HG Timber, Orbital Climate Solutions, ILG, Elite Electrics, Warehouse Partners, RH Logistics, Aitchison Raffety, JP Conveyors, Knight Frank, Mirek Piskun, Air Business, Lambert Smith Hampton and Edd’s Bikes.