A chance meeting with Olympic champion cyclist Laura Trott has led a Bedford College chief to take on his own challenge.
Deputy director of finance Dave Roffey is handing over every penny raised on a super cycle run to the mental health charity MIND.
He will be setting off from the London Eye on Thursday, September 22, and plans to arrive at the Eiffel Tower on Sunday, September 25, taking a route of 323 kilometres on two wheels.
Dave said: “The two-wheeled campaign began in August 2015 when my wife Rebecca, half joking, asked me if I wanted to cycle from London to Paris with her.
“I assumed she was joking as apart from the odd intermission, I hadn’t cycled anywhere for the best part of 25 years. I love sport, especially cycling, but generally that involves watching it as opposed to participating.”
Dave, who is the college representative on the BedfordBID Board, added: “Towards the end of that month, we went to the Revolutions track cycling event at Derby velodrome. I was lucky enough to meet Olympic, World and European track cyclist champion Laura Trott, a bit of a hero of mine.
“Trying to impress her a bit, I immediately blurted out ‘I’m cycling from London to Paris next year!’
“That was it, I was committed to do it. Rebecca said that she would tell Laura if I didn’t do it.
“I made the first tentative steps on a borrowed bike - just a few miles at first, in September 2015. To further motivate myself, I purchased a new road bike in March this year and have managed to get out training most weekends, plus a few commutes in between.
“As time draws closer, the more people I have told what I am doing, partly to explain the hobbling around the office every Monday. The most common response is ‘Are you doing it for charity?’. That was never the intention, it was just for ‘fun’, but it seems too good an opportunity to pass up to do something good, so here we are.
“My JustGiving page is here and I appreciate any support that you can give.”