From Paris, With Love

To those who sponsored me,

Now that it’s over, I just wanted to say a huge, HUGE thank you to those who helped me raise £1000 for Practical Action in my sponsored cycle from London to Paris.

Adequate Preparations

Adequate Preparations

It was, by far, the best and worst thing I have ever done.

To describe it as more than that is almost impossible. We ate, we slept and we cycled. The group of strangers that quickly became friends spoke about the following…

  • The last hill
  • The next hill
  • The weather
  • Which part hurt the most (the bum)
  • How amazing the cycle guides and charity support was

And that’s more or less it. Of course, there were also friendships quickly formed and these people might’ve spoken about other things – RAG, careers, the usual – but mostly the conversations and the ride itself blur into one. One long lucid stretch that, if I was drunk enough, you might convince me never happened. It’s only the aching legs the week after and the graze on my knee from where Beavis knocked me off my bike that make me sure that I really did do it. (There is, also, the photos.)

My foot after a day's cycling in the rain

My foot after a day’s cycling in the rain

Though I could, if I really tried, pick out certain memories, they would almost all revolve around food (Macdonalds in Newhaven, anyone?) so I thought I’d focus on something else instead.

I think the main thing that’ll stay with me – besides the conversations about whether wetting yourself in the rain would be noticeable (yes, Charlie, it would) and the friendships I managed to form between snack breaks and leg pain – is how incredible students, and student fundraisers, are. 

There were just over 100 of us on the ride, having raised over £100,000 between us, and except a girl who unfortunately broke her leg on the first day we all – different shapes and sizes – made it. With the rhythm of “save-ing-lives” keeping our feet pushing one after the other and “Living on a Prayer” being belted out by Jess from Team Not Arrogant About Speed (one of six teams) behind us, all of us came together in Crystal Palace and formed a unit that lasted all the way to the Eiffel Tower.

We are all capable of incredible things, if we’re taken at our own pace and ask for help when we need it. We can help strangers at the click of our fingers, with a spare inner tube or just with motivation. We have networks that can raise literal thousands of pounds.
We may be young, we may be old, but we can, and are, making a difference.
To ourselves and the world around us.

Team Not Arrogant at the Eiffel Tower

Team Not Arrogant at the Eiffel Tower

Yours in gratitude,

Andy “my legs still hurt” King.
That donation link one last time: 


2 thoughts on “From Paris, With Love

  1. Congratulations – I am riding it next April for Action for Stammering Children – I shall be alone with a total bunch of strangers, weird that this scares me more than the ride itself – well done on your efforts – P

  2. Pingback: Forays into the Campus 50: Second Year | Open Letters

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