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3 August 2017

L to R: Andy Good, Rob Corah, Steve Bosworth, Scott Brown, Jonathon Fox

Two members of Orion’s Staff have just completed a 200 mile sponsored cycle ride from London to Paris.

Scott Brown and Andy Good, both Litho Print Managers at Orion started their journey from London Bridge along with 3 others – all members of the local Bombay Bicycle Club.

Their efforts raised over £1,500 for the Adult Intensive Care Unit at Nottingham’s Queens Medical Centre, in memory of Scott’s Nephew Luke Blackbourn who passed away in February last year.

Scott said: “I wanted to do something for the Intensive Care Unit that had looked after Luke. He was a bubbly, sociable 23 year old with an amazing character and his whole life ahead of him. He had a good career, girlfriend and loving family and was tragically taken from us after suffering a sudden brain haemorrhage.
The Staff at the Queens Medical Centre – especially the Intensive Care Unit were absolutely great in the way they cared for Luke and in their personal handling of the situation.
I just felt it was the right thing to do, to try and raise funds for the Unit to repay something towards their care, compassion and the professional manner they had shown during this difficult time for his family and friends”.

Andy commented: “We also wanted to mark the start and finish with a notable landmark and so we chose Tower Bridge in London for the official start and of course it just had to be the Eiffel Tower for the finish”

“Scott and I had done the London Knight Ride before and so we had some experience of riding in London traffic – although that was mostly in the wee small hours when the traffic was (slightly) less busy”.

“We had planned out a route well in advance which kept us off the busiest main roads to avoid the heavier traffic. Aided by our Garmin Satnavs we made our way out of London onto country roads and of course the inevitable hills – some of which we were prepared for but others came as a bit of a surprise. We met the challenge head on and just kept thinking of that local hostelry that must be just over the next hill?”

Scott and Andy had previously done the Annual London to Brighton Ride which attracts over 27,000 riders.
The biggest challenge on that ride is Ditchling Beacon which has an average gradient of 9% – peaking in places at 16% and reaching a height of 470 feet in just under a mile.

Ditchling Beacon Hill on their London to Brighton ride

However, the London to Paris ride proved to be just as challenging with over 4,000 feet of climbing in the first day’s riding and turned out to be the toughest stage of their entire journey. After a punishing 65 miles in the saddle their first stopover was at Lewes.

Day 2 meant an early start to make the ferry crossing from Newhaven to Dieppe and once across the channel the mini-peloton made its way to Beauvais for their second overnight stop. Following a slightly less hilly route than day 1, this stage was just over 75 miles.

Andy said “The first day’s riding in France followed a route that we had downloaded from the internet. It soon became apparent that this was designed by someone else to pick out all the hills – bad decision after the challenge of day 1”

“Remembering to ride on the other side of the road was a challenge at first” said Scott. “I must admit that turning left and going around traffic islands the other way was a bit scary at first”
Andy also admits to riding on the wrong side off the road within minutes of arriving in Dieppe.

The final stretch on Day 3 – from Beauvais to Paris – was completed in just over 4 hours. Their route through country roads from Dieppe was noticeably void of cars which was a pleasant change from the nightmare of London traffic, but it was not long before the Paris traffic changed all that.

Despite a minor glitch in navigation and further close encounters with traffic on the wrong side of the road (no sorry that was not the locals), the final 60 miles saw them arrive safely at the Eiffel Tower, with plenty of time left for sightseeing and a well-earned night on the town.

After their stopover in Paris they returned to the UK by Eurostar, which we believe was far less effort than the journey out.

Well done guys!

L to R: Andy Good, Steve Boswell, Rob Corah, Scott Brown