On 5 July, four residents of Oundle set off on a 280 mile cycle ride from Oundle to Paris. Marc Lefebvre, Bill Gough, Sheridan Smith and Mark Rogers were joined by well wishers early on Monday morning as they set off from the Market Square in Oundle. They are hoping to arrive at the Eiffel Tower on Thursday.VAcycleride

‘It will be a jolly jape with chums and lashings of ginger beer’, commented Bill.

‘There will be a large requirement for Vaseline’, Mark added, ‘but someone told me I was too old and too fat to do this, so I’ll be sending them a postcard from Paris!’

Marc also said something in French like, ‘tout est possible’ and the rest agreed!

The four friends are amateur cyclists and before this year spent little time in the saddle, so it comes as a surprise to them all to find they are embarking on this momentous trip.

Unfortunately a fifth member of the original team, Didier Vincent, had to drop out at the last minute. Didier had plotted the route with Marc, which goes south via Bedford to Brighton and a ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe.

Sheridan explains, ‘We wanted to raise some cash for a charity on the back of our ride, and are all conscious of the good work done locally by Volunteer Action, so thought we would ask friends and Oundle residents to make donations to VA, should they wish to show support to us’.

The riders are grateful to their support team, teachers at Oundle School, Megan Smedley, Catriona Redding and Marianne Layden, and urge all who wish to show their support to the riders to donate a little something to VA.

Nancy Taylor from Volunteer Action commented, ‘We are delighted that the riders from Oundle are supporting Volunteer Action, a local charity. VA provides a Community Car Scheme and a Befriending Scheme to the elderly, housebound and disabled in NE Northamptonshire. This helps local people keep their independence, stay living in their own homes and remain part of the community. We have 55 volunteer drivers and 15 volunteer home visitors who give up so much time to help others.’