And... they’re off!
This team of six plucky cyclists from the Fylde coast have started their epic fund-raising 500-mile bike ride, setting off from opposite Blackpool Tower on the Comedy Carpet.
They expect to arrive in Paris, at the Eiffel Tower, in aid of a good cause close to all their hearts, on Tuesday. It means an average of 70 miles cycling each day.
Liz Caro, Shannon Jackson, Robin Caro, Phil Walker, Elaine Spector and Simon Jacques have hit their target of £20,000 for Brian House Children’s Hospice, rounding off our Hospice Heroes campaign nicely.
The Hospice Heroes appeal was launched by The Gazette to raise £200,000 to refurbish Bispham-based Trinity and Brian House.
In just nine months, that total was smashed, with a staggering £236,000 raised.
Other events organised by the team, along with their Tower to Tower ride, have boosted their fund-raising – including dinners, party night at Henry’s Bar in Lytham, golf day at the De Vere Heron’s Reach and a yoga party night.
Phil Walker, stand-up comedian and son of former Catchphrase host Roy, said: “It’s been a bit of a dash to get all my stuff together and packed, as I was working in Crete over the weekend and only got home at one o’clock this morning.
“We are so pleased with the amount raised, so now the only thing left to do is to get on with the ride, which is the moment we’ve been looking forward to.
“It seemed like it was so far away when we first planned it and now it feels like it’s suddenly upon us.
“One of the team members has baked some delicious flapjacks to give us energy, so hopefully those will help us get through it.
“I’m hoping the weather will stay fine, we should have the wind on our backs on the way down.
“And I am really looking forward to that first glimpse of the Tower when we get to Paris.” Team-mate Shannon added: “Mostly I’m excited, but there are some mixed emotions, as I am slightly nervous.
“And I have three young children so being away from them for seven days, I know I will miss them.
“But we have had such amazing support, everybody has been so generous and we are delighted with the funds raised.”