Cyclists face their biggest challenge yet from May 19-31 to help Cancer Support France in the fourth Cycle for Life as it covers 650km from Atlantic resort Royan to Marseillan Plage on the Mediterranean.
Riders aim to raise funds for the charity, which supports English-speaking cancer patients and their friends and families, and can do the whole trip or one or as many days as they like, riding at their own pace.
Organisers hope it will also raise awareness of CSF so as many people as possible know that help is available to cope with the burden of dealing with the illness in a country which is not their own – and National President Penny Parkinson hopes large numbers will join in the event.
The ride is long but all low-level, following canals and cycle routes. Two rest days are planned in Bordeaux (May 22) and Carcassonne (29). Riders fix their own accommodation but CSF has an event pack with details.
Chris Butler, from Montpellier, has signed for her third ride and said last year’s 200km ride from Toulouse to Sète was a pleasure: “I am really enthusiastic about it. It is in no way competitive and there’s a great spirit of camaraderie.
Pictured above: Well-earned rest after hard work on the Cycle for Life ride for Montpellier riders Louise Hurren, left, and Chris Butler
“You need a basic level of fitness, but it is mostly flat with support vehicles for bags and spare inner tubes. All you have to do is get on your bike and ride through the lovely countryside. I also like that there is no pressure to raise an enormous amount of money. Any contribution is welcome.”
Ms Parkinson added: “The national association has no independent means of raising funds to support local associations.
“This year we hope Cycle for Life sponsorship raises enough to cover the costs of our Trainers’ Conference in November, a vital event where trainers share, discuss and develop our high quality support.”