Church Stretton resident cycling 700 miles in 78 hours for charity!

Jim, who is 56, moved to Shropshire in 1990 and is cycling the rather challenging (to some) Diagonale de France. The cycle ride is just a few miles short of 700, and starts in Brest and runs to Perpignan, in Southern France. One of 9 Fench ‘diagonales’, Jim is cycling the route to raise funds for Mayfair Community Centre in Church Stretton.

The rules of the ride are quite simple, 78 hours are allocated, which includes all resting, eating and any repair time. The clock starts at Brest and stops at Perpignan. Jim has already done two of the nine French diagonals. 

Having been leant a bicycle by his neighbour, Denise Bruny-Ghogins, while living in Australia at the age of 6, Jim was hooked. His first ‘major’ bike ride was at the tender age of 10 – 800 miles over 10 days.  Now, Jim’s yearly average is 10,000 miles, he continued “during the 1980’s my yearly average was around 18,500 miles per annum”. 

Jim said “I really love long distance cycling, the solitude and ability to absorb my surroundings, especially in France where I always feel very much at home”.  He continued “cycling the diagonals is still a challenge, even though I know I can do them”.

Some people cycle with music, but Jim prefers to cycle with the sounds of birds, and also so he is aware where the traffic is. Jim has already been planning, he continued “I’ll be cycling about 300 km per day, with an average planned speed of 17 miles per hour, there is no support, it’ll just be me and my saddle bag which will have spare maps, a spare set of clothing for cycling and for the evenings, 4 x spare inner tubes, a set of alan keys and a set of spare spokes”.

During his time cycling Jim has had a few injuries including a fractured skull, broken jaw, broken elbow, fractured cheek bone, a broken pelvis and cracked ribs.
Jim continued “I’ve decided to raise funds for Mayfair because I’ve seen the work that goes on here, it has a positive effect on the wider community and the work that is done is extraordinary and deserves supporting”.

Jim will be leaving Church Stretton on Friday June 6th at 3.30pm to travel to France. His ride will start at 5am on Sunday June 8th and he is hoping to arrive in Perpignan on Wednesday June 11th at 5pm. He said “hankfully my wife is also a cyclist so she is used to me heading off and out for long periods of time. I couldn’t do this without her support and backing, and she knows how much it means to me”.

If anyone would like to sponsor Jim for this amazing cycle ride, there is a sponsor form in Mayfair Community Centre’s  reception, or, money can be donated online


Pete White Pete White

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