Cyclists set for 30th Paris to Hayling ride

Will Stretch ready to ride
Will Stretch ready to ride

CYCLISTS will be setting off on Sunday for the 30th Paris to Hayling Ride, raising money for Barnardo’s.

Riders will be going to Versailles, via Caen and Evreux, returning via Rouen and Le Havre.

Peter McQuade on the day before he set out in 1986, the first ride

Peter McQuade on the day before he set out in 1986, the first ride

It was all started in 1986 by Peter McQuade, after friends lost one of their twin daughters to cot death.

That year, he cycled to Paris and back alone but three decades on, the event has grown to see 250 cyclists make the journey.

Peter said: “I had no experience, apart from a few miles in practice. He had no special clothing or saddles nor a particularly fit-for-purpose bike. No one really did what he was about to do in those days.”

It has raised £1.5million for charity and various weddings have taken place with couples who have met during the trip.

Among the West Sussex riders taking part will be retired teacher Will Stretch, from Selsey. He has been cycling for many years and, now aged over 70, is taking part in his tenth ride.

He has also recruited a number of former pupils from Hayling Island and Petersfield.

Peter said: “Many hundreds of people have been inspired to join the ride since 1986 and there have been some very impressive achievements.”

Visit the ride’s website for more information on the route and how to make a donation.

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