Newbury Park man channeling inner Wiggins as he sets off on London to Paris bike ride
A Newbury Park businessman set himself a birthday challenge when he reached his half-century – to cycle from London to Paris.
Kevin Clarke, now 51, of Clintons Property Management in Stainforth Road, has limited himself to 10 mile cycle rides in the past. Today though, he will embark on a 300-mile trip in four days to reach the French capital and raise more than �2,000 for armed forces charity Help for Heroes.
Describing his previous cycling as a “poodle around with the kids”, Kevin said: “When I turned 50 I thought I needed a bit of a challenge.
“We discussed the London-Paris bike ride and I decided I’d do it.
“It was appropriate that we did well in the Olympics cycling.”
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He will channel his inner Bradley Wiggins by cycling 89 miles on the first day to go from Marble Arch to Calais via the Dover ferry.
Along with his niece’s husband Gavin Hall, Kevin, who lives in Brentwood, will bike on to Arras on day two, Compi�gne on day three before arriving at the Arc de Triomphe on Wednesday.
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To train, he has been riding the 35-mile round trip from his home to his workplace and he will travel on his “trusty old push bike”.
He said: “It’s a bike like my grandfather’s only with more gears.
“But it will outlast me.”
Help for Heroes supports sick and wounded service personnel and Kevin was inspired to help it after seeing an episode of Top Gear, in which servicemen described a colleague’s amputated leg as a “scratch wound”.
He said: “You have to take your hat off to them. They’re not saying ‘woe is me’.”
He raised �1,500 in a week.
Mike Crocker, the vice-chairman of Redbridge Chamber of Commerce, said: “He’s doing a fantastic job.
“We’re glad to be able to support him as he helps and supports local businesses.”
Local businesses lent their support including estate agents Land Commercial in Beehive Lane, Gants Hill and Payne and Co in Cranbrook Road, Ilford.
Visit www.bmycharity.com/KevinsLondon2Paris to make a donation.