Posted: 19/09/19 by Kingsley Bathroom Plumbing & Heating Centre Ltd
After negotiating the traffic jams and diversions from Northampton to Ashford, Sarah and Neil Tidmarsh from Kingsley Bathroom Plumbing and Heating Centre in Junction Road checked into the Ashford International Hotel on Friday 6th September.
They docked their bikes with their accompanying cycle mechanic, retired to the bar and enjoyed their ‘last supper’.
Along with 36 colleagues from different plumbers merchants and suppliers across the country, donning their lycra, they boarded a coach at 05:15 the following morning headed for Calais. Upon arrival, 76 water bottles had been filled and 38 cycles had been prepped and were ready for the off.
They set off in waves according to their Strava average speeds on training rides, Sarah and Neil joined the middle group, after the first hurdle of which side of the road to use, they were underway. Two water stops, one lunch stop, 4,369ft of elevation with some spectacular descents, a top speed of 47.9 MPH and 89 miles later, they rolled into Arras. The bikes were again docked, closely followed by an endorphined fuelled celebratory few beers.
Day Two started at a more respectable hour and a shorter ride from Arras to Saint-Quentin, a mere 73 miles and just 2,687ft of elevation, top speed was a sedate 35 MPH with two water stops, one beer stop and a lunch stop. Dinner was in the local Heroes Square where stories of the day where exchanged over a glass or two of the local wine.
Final Day was an earlier start venturing into thick freezing fog, the day was always going to be a challenge with a very ‘lumpy’ 81-mile route swallowing up five epic climbs of 600ft to 700ft of elevation each. Nearly six hours later, they cycled side-by-side in Reims.
All of the riders were gathered together and rode as one large group over the cobbles and up to Notre Dame where they were greeted with glasses of celebratory Champagne!
The event was topped off with a tour, tasting and evening meal in the fantastic cellars of G.H. Mumm Champagne where awards and medals were presented.
The event was organised by one of Kingsley Bathroom, Plumbing and Heating’s suppliers’ Vado.
Sarah and Neil have raised in excess of £2,000 so far for Vado’s chosen charity, African Children’s Fund raising money for their Kenyan Schools Programme, this will add to the grand total of over £75,000 raised to date from the event. In addition, Neil and Sarah have been able to raise over £200 for Adoption UK too.
Donations are still being collected and they believe that they will break the £100,000 mark as a collective. Neil and Sarah would welcome any further support after their mammoth efforts via their just giving page at www.justgiving.com/Neil-Sarah-Tidmarsh