Essex father and son complete 300-mile charity ride

SEVEN punctures, countless steep climbs, one mountain, and one crash did not stop a father and son team completing a 300-mile cycle challenge for charity.

Bob Carter, 61, and his son Matt, 34, powered their way from London’s Hyde Park Corner all the way across the channel to Notre Dame in Paris. The pair raised �1500 for the churches of the five parishes.

Although windy and gruelling the four-day ride was well worth it because Bob managed to quadruple his fundraising target.

“The ride was a real adventure, and I enjoyed every minute of it,” he said. “It was good to ride with my son who was very encouraging towards his old dad.

“The four days were not without incident, but the sense of achievement was great.”

A number of dramas happened along the way, not least when Matt got his front wheel caught in a gap and he flew over his own handlebars whilst disembarking the ferry, leaving him battered and bruised.

The team were also separated briefly on the outskirts of a small French village when Bob didn’t realise that Matt had stopped because of his fifth puncture.

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“I found myself alone,” he said. “After waiting it soon became obvious Matt had a problem and was not following me any more.”

Bob is retired and currently holds the position of churchwarden at St Mary the Virgin Church, Broxted – one of the five churches that will benefit from the money he raised.

He was aiming for around the �500 mark but blasted past that before he set off at the end of May. “I chose to ride for the Friends of the Five Parishes because the churches need specialist maintenance work and the group is expecting requests for substantial sums during 2010 and 2011,” he said.

“I want to say a great big thank you for all the generosity and support. I am really amazed at the total.”

For more information and a diary of the ride visit