A group of Sussex men have cycled to Paris to raise money for a disability centre in Burgess Hill.
The four set off from Newhaven last Friday (August 25) and returned on Monday night, covering 320 miles from Worthing to Dieppe then on to Paris; returning on the same route back to Worthing.
They took on the epic ride for Ernest Kleinwort Court – a centre for people with complex physical disabilities in Burgess Hill, run by The Disabilities Trust.
Neighbours Nick Peniston-Bird, 53, and Dean Vince, 45, who live in Worthing, took part in the cycle challenge.
Nick said: “It was very hot and tiring, it was 34 degrees at one point – we went through nine litres of water. But we pushed each other on and it was a good atmosphere.
“The first 60 miles was very flat but when we got to Paris it was a lot more hillier and tough.
“Paris was manic and so busy. The locals were lovely – we had a a lady come out of nowhere with a jug of water for us, which was a nice surprise.
“It is lovely riding in France, there are lots of cycle paths, which you don’t have here.
“We are really proud. It is an achievement. It was my biggest challenge yet. We did lots of training and went out two to three times a week.”
Also known as Mr Pumpkin, children’s entertainer Nick became involved with the disability centre when he started supplying indoor activities to them about three years ago.
“Over the years of coming to the centre I have made very good friends with the people who live here and the staff, so we really wanted to do this bike ride to raise as much money as possible for everyone who uses the centre,” he said.
“This is a very worthwhile cause and very close to our hearts.
“Our target was to raise £2,000. Any donations will be most gratefully received.”
Nick lives in Worthing with his wife Fiona. The couple have three children; Oliver, 27, Sebastian, 23, and Miles, 19.
He and Dean are also members of Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club.
Karen Perrin, the centre’s manager, said: “There are always things that we want to fundraise for. At the moment we are considering a number of projects, including additions to our sensory room and garden.
“We are so delighted that Nick and Dean took on this huge challenge for us.”
To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicholas-peniston-bird1.
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