Our team of nine riders took on the epic challenge of a 340 mile bike-ride between Paris and Swansea from 2nd-6th August.
After setting off, the first day saw the team cycling around the streets of Paris taking in the scenery at the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe, heading out of Paris through some beautiful villages ending up in Le Vaudreuil.
The real intensity of the challenge set in on the second day after the tough journey to Le Havre to get the ferry across the water to Portsmouth. On very little sleep, they set off from Portsmouth through the picturesque English countryside and villages to get to Bristol where they spent their last night enjoying a team outing before the final slog home to Swansea.
The team arrived back at the Towers Hotel before being lead by a police escort to Morgans Hotel in Swansea and were greeted with a heroes’ welcome from family and friends!
The group are no strangers to challenges. A heart operation just 8 weeks before the trip was not enough to put the brakes on for Mitchell Joseph. The cousin of Paul Popham decided to take on the challenge with very little training. He took his place in Team 1 and knocked the miles out of the park!
Kieran Heycock – who is a 21-year-old transplant patient – has also recently returned from Malaga after being awarded several silver and gold medals in the World Transplant Games.
The rest of the team, who were lead by charity manager and Paul Popham’s daughter Joanne Popham, included Hannah Crowney, Shaun Thomas, Rachel Amy, Helen Richards, Tricia East and Rob East were just 9 of over 30 cyclists who took part in the bike-ride which was organised by Sarn Helen Events.
The Paul Popham Fund team have raised just over £6500 for the charity! This amount has gone towards sending children and youths with kidney failure on an activity weekend to Newgale, giving them the opportunity to not only socialise with other patients but to improve their self-esteem and confidence by taking part in outdoor activities.
As cyclist Shaun Thomas led the Newgale trip, the Paris to Swansea adventure was particularly special for him as he was able to gain a first-hand insight into the difference this experience will make in the lives of young sufferers.
A big thanks to all who supported our team in this huge challenge!