Pedal Power to Paris

14th July 2015

On the 7 August 2015, two friends will set off from Sheffield Cathedral on bicycles with the intention of pedaling to the Eiffel Tower in Paris over the course of five days.  The aim is to help raise money for Cancer Research.

It is one trip the French ferry blockade cannot stop, as Fraser Andrews and Paul Walker will be pedaling across the English Channel in Wilson – their self-made pedalo.  Quite a challenge as more people have landed on the moon than pedaled across the Channel!

Built on a budget over the cold winter months, ‘Wilson’ was created with support from Rother Valley Joinery, Chesterfield College, and wood from Arnold Laver, along with the help of family and friends.

After a grand send off at the Cathedral, Fraser and Paul will initially cycle 250 miles down to the Kent coast, before pedaling 31 nautical miles across the English Channel; then picking their bikes back up and cycling on to Paris.  Their crossing point will take them from Dungeness to Boulogne-sur-Mer.

They will cover a total distance of around 500 miles. Their families will be their road crew support.  The English Channel is one of the busiest stretches of water in the world so they have hired a safety support boat for the nautical part of the trip.

Fraser Andrews, Property Manager for the Diocese of Sheffield, said:

“Over the winter we built our boat together, turning it from a little rowing boat into something that we could pedal across the Channel.  We’ve been training hard all summer and hopefully are fit enough for the challenge. The pedalo really is a physical and mental test of endurance.  There is no respite, it is a case of constantly plugging away for a whole 10 hours and feeling the burn!”

Paul Walker, Product Manager - Autodesk, said:

“It seemed a good idea when we thought this up after cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats last year!  As we try to power ourselves across the Channel, the tide will be dragging us sideways at 3 knots. When the tide turns, it will drag us in the opposite direction if we can't maintain our power output, then we'll overshoot our landing and end up pedaling against the tide!”

To read more on their story and donate to the cause visit https://www.justgiving.com/pedaltoparis2015/

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