Peter and Fiona pedal to Paris for the Legion.
22nd August 2011
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Peter and Fiona Sands, of Saint Helens Dental Practice, Abingdon, are in training for a tough 4 day cycle ride from London to Paris. (When Peter suggested they go to Paris for their wedding anniversary, Fiona was delighted but hadn’t realised they would be making their way by bicycle!!)

They will be two of around 300 cyclists to cover the route between the two capital cities. The ‘Pedal to Paris ride, which begins at London’s historic Greenwich Parkon Thursday 1st September and ends at the Arc De Triomphe on Sunday 4th September, is in aid of The Royal British Legion.

The Legion’s flagship charity bike ride, now in its 16th year, takes the intrepid cyclists through over 300 miles of some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes of Kent and Northern France. Having cycled from London to Dover, where they board a ferry to Calais, they begin their ride to Paris. Passing through the Pas de Calais region, paying respects en route to those who gave their lives so courageously,  fighting in both world wars, they arrive in Abbeville, infamous during the Great War. From Abbeville, they will travel through the historic landscapes of the Somme and Oise regions of Picardy, and then on into the heart of Paris. The ‘piece de resistance’ is the ride up to the Arc De Triomphe where a poignant ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier marks the end of the ride.

Last year Peter undertook the Big Battlefield Bike Ride for Help for Heroes, riding almost 400 miles through Northern France, following where possible the ‘Western Front’ of WWI. New, to cycling and approaching 50 he spent a lot of time preparing for the ride, so this time when he said he wanted to do another ride for a Forces charity, Fiona decided that if she was going to see anything of him this summer she would need to join up as well!.

Fiona is new to cycling, but not to fundraising for good causes, raising over £3000 for SENSE by running the London Marathon in 2009.  Training is going well at the moment but the thought of cycling over 80 miles a day for 4 consecutive days remains a daunting prospect.

Fiona and Peter hope to beat the £5000 raised last year for Help for Heroes, and in doing so help the Legion’s welfare work. Nearly 10.5 million serving and ex-Service men and women and their dependants are eligible for the Legion’s support which covers a very wide range of services including the giving of grants to those in need, pensions and benefit advice, counselling and job retraining, home and hospital visits as well as the provision of full nursing care.

Russell Thompson, Director of National Events and Fundraising at the Legion said, “We are very grateful to Fiona and Peter for taking on the Pedal to Paris challenge. It is an incredible experience and we wish them all the best for the ride. Apart from the training that goes into preparing for the event, the fundraising that they are undertaking on behalf of the Royal British Legion will make a real difference to the lives of those people we support. We spend £75.5 million each year on our vital welfare work and Peter and Fiona’s efforts will help us considerably in continuing to provide the social, emotional and financial care that is so central to our work.”

2011 is the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. Now, more than ever before, it needs your support. If you wish to sponsor Peter and Fiona please contact them at Saint Helens Dental Practice, 01235 239969, or or you can make a donation via their charity page at


About the Author

Helen I

Member since: 10th July 2012

I love Abingdon and am passionate about promoting the businesses and events that are centred there. I want everyone to realise how great they are and how we should all be using them!

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