Thousands are raised by bike ride trio

A cancer survivor and fitness instructor from Westham was part of a team effort that has seen thousands raised for charity.

Kevin Balsdon was joined by Min Peterken and Jo Davies, who both attend his classes, for the bike ride from London to Geneva, which has seen £4,000 raised for Macmillan Nurses and the Stroke Association.

The 660-mile challenge took eight days to complete.

Kevin, who is in remission from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after completing an intense chemotherapy programme three years ago, and Jo cycled the entire distance, via Paris and Min joined them as far as Paris before heading home. The journey saw them climb just sort of 20,000 feet and experience temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius.

Kevin said, “We averaged 85 miles a day and some days were easier on the legs than others it’s fair to say.

“The last day was the hardest and best. We were tired having cycled for seven days already and the mountain roads on the French/Swiss border are legendary.

“The last steep climb to the summit of the Col de Faucille is infamous as one of the toughest sections of the Tour de France, but having accomplished that it was the most glorious 20 miles descent into Switzerland and down into Geneva, where we met our partners by Lake Geneva in front of the fountain.”

One hundred and thirty other cyclists joined the trio for some sections of the journey. Most cycled from Blackheath to Paris, while 40 did the Paris to Geneva leg.

Kevin added, “It did hurt at times but that only served to remind me I’m lucky to be alive to feel the pain. The feeling of accomplishment as we completed our challenge is beyond words and I know I can speak for Jo and Min when I say that this trip has etched itself on our hearts: we enjoyed and endured in equal measure.”

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