Emily Bailey from Bristol has successfully completed a 300 mile cycle from London to Paris (despite a record-breaking heat wave) to raise funds for Plymouth Hospitals Charity.
Emily has chosen for the funds raised to go to the Mustard Tree Cancer Support Centre at Derriford Hospital. She credits the Mustard Tree for supporting her mum when she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
“The centre offers advice and support to absolutely anyone affected by cancer,” said Emily. “The staff provided incredible and invaluable care and support to our Mum during her illness last year.”
Emily’s mum sadly died aged 55. “Whilst there was not anything I could do to make her get better, I can do a little something to help other people who are battling this awful disease,” said Emily. “Hopefully I can help to provide them with some extra support when they need it most.”
Day one began with an early start and a 95 mile cycle to Dover. After a long wait for the ferry, Emily and the rest of the group finally arrived at their hotel in Calais at midnight. There wasn’t much time to rest as the group set off early the next day to avoid the hottest part of the day. With temperatures reaching a scorching 42 degrees celsius, the organisers decided the heat was posing too much of a risk to continue and stopped the race for the day.
Day three was much cooler but the sun was shining – perfect cycling conditions. On already tired legs, Emily completed the 68 hilly miles across French villages and countryside.
Day four brought heavy downpours for the final 55 miles but the race finished with a triumphant finish down the Champs-Elysees and under the Eiffel Tower.
“I was incredibly nervous before the cycle not knowing what to expect,” said Emily. “But knowing the reason I was doing the challenge really kept me motivated.
Emily has raised an incredible £3,575, with the final donations still coming in. “The entire cycle was an amazing experience but it was harder than I could have possible imagined. I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s support and generosity.”