Scunthorpe Freemason Phil Aitken and his brother Rob are still determined to reach Paris by bike later this year, honouring the people who have so far committed to give more than £900 of the £2,750 sponsorship target – but the cycling duo are finding that the devil’s in the detail in making it happen.
First the company organising the trip pulled out, so they decided to go it alone – but that wasn’t as straightforward as it might have been. With Plan A out of the window, something else had to be worked out.
Phil takes up the story: “The planning for the unsupported ride goes on and we’ve hit another snag with Plan B! We can’t bring the bikes back on the Eurostar – apparently bikes carry COVID – So alternatives are being looked into.
“Plan C: Internal train to Dunkirk, bike from there to Zebrugge, and catch the ferry from Hull. Nope, scratch that, the Hull to Zebrugge ferry is freight only at the minute!
“Plan D: Catch a train to Rotterdam and catch ferry home. Nope, scratch that too, the Thalis trains aren’t taking bikes either.
“Plan E: Bike back to the coast via Avenue Vert – three more days in the saddle and 155 miles! After my initial ‘no way’, and after chatting with Rob, we’ve decided to forego the UK leg (London to Dover) and are now doing Calais – Paris – Dieppe, which works out around 380 miles! Oh, how I laughed!”
Phil has reiterated his plea for sponsorship: “Please sponsor me for whatever amount you can afford – you’re now getting 380 miles for the price of 275 – a bargain!” He said that the more people that knew about the support being given to the MCF, the Freemasons’ charity, by the Lincolnshire 2025 Festival, the more support it would achieve, and the greater the impact it could make. He added. “I hope people will did deep to help me support this wonderful charity. We have £930 at the moment, but I hoped we’d Zoom to the target…”
Sponsor Phil at his Everyday Hero page: https://e0151.everydayhero.com/uk/the-london-to-paris-challenge