Paris bike challenge for Bracknell pair
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Marathon ride: Bracknell pair Gavin Oberholzer and Paul Adams complete their charity cycle ride under the Eiffel Tower, Paris.
A TOUGH year of training paid off when Easthampstead man Gavin Oberholzer took on a marathon 194-mile bike ride.
The 39-year-old survived a gruelling 14.5 hours of solid cycling when he and best friend Paul Adams, 38, decided to ride to Paris in aid of South Hill Park Pre-School.
After 12 months of training the pair began their journey on Saturday, March 1, at Mr Oberholzer's family home in Hopper Vale, and furiously rode to New Haven, East Sussex, where they took a ferry to France.
"We had a relatively easy journey down to Horsham but then it got tougher and tougher as we approached the South Downs," said Mr Oberholzer. "The stretch from Lewes to New Haven was pretty difficult for me and I was hanging on a bit as Paul led the way on the final stretch."
But the father-of-two was reassured by cheers of encouragement from a support vehicle - carrying his wife Jeanine and daughters Teagan, two, and Madison, five - which followed the daring duo on their journey.
It was not just the physical challenges they had to contend with, but the bitter French cold as well.
Mr Oberholzer said: "It was so cold I lost feeling in my feet and fingers and only knew if my fingers were actually changing the gears on the bike from the sound of the chain moving position on the cassette!"
The convoy reached the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, the next day at 4pm after risking their lives on a "crazy roundabout" at the Arc de Triomphe.
They celebrated their accomplishment - and raising £450 - with a beer in the heart of Paris.
Mr Oberholzer said: "Funding is tight now and it is the small charities who have no marketing that suffer."
He is asking for people to keep donating at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/gav2paris
This article appeared in Bracknell News 14 Mar 13
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Mar 17, 09:21
Isn't it nice to read about someone fundraising and not asking for handouts to fund their jollies. It does seem recently that fundraisers can't just do that but want thousands just to fund for their travel to enable them to hand over a couple of hundred to charities, when it would make more sense to stay at home and send all the money raised directly to the people who need it.
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