Cycling success: a tale of two cities David celebrates the finish of Ride London-Surrey 2 August 2016 London to Paris: A six-member team left from London on Wednesday, riding an average of 75 miles a day to arrive in Paris on Saturday. Mark McKenna, Bex Watson, Rosie Line, Laura Pais (all volunteers from the night shelter at Holy Trinity Brook Green) joined Glass Door’s night shelter managers Steve Gamble and Ben Davies along with about 40 other riders on the trip, organised by an independent travel adventure company. “It was a wonderful eclectic mix of people,” Ben says about the group. He found the hills particularly challenging, but “there was always someone behind me pushing me on, saying ‘you can do it', or ‘you’re almost there!'” he recounts. “You’re not thinking about finishing the 300 miles. You’re looking at the next water stop, the next lunch break,” says Ben. On day two, the cycle route went right through the Somme Valley around the time of the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. “It was very humbling on many levels,” says Ben. “Many of the names on graves and memorials belonged to men 25 years younger than me.” Goaded on by a few supporters, avid Liverpool FC fan Steve wore a jersey from local rivals Everton FC on day two, calling in on a dare in order to double or triple some of his donations. Despite being one of the oldest in the group, Steve’s proud to have been one of the first to have arrived in Paris. On day three, both Ben and Laura took a tumble off their bikes. Ben slipped off the road when he lost focus and landed badly; Laura fell as she was going down a steep hill and had to be taken to A&E. Ben says he wasn’t in too much pain at the time and got back on the bike an hour later. However, a doctor’s visit Monday morning revealed two cracked ribs. Would Ben do it again? “Absolutely. Steve and I were saying just at the finish we want to go again.” Despite two punctured tires on day one and the two cracked ribs, Ben says he is still feeling “euphoric”. Laura agrees: “Despite my accident, I ended up having a brilliant time," she says. "I'm so pleased with the total raised; it was well worth all the cuts and bruises!” Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 Delroy Riley, Rich Marler and David Boothroyd sported red and purple Glass Door jerseys on Sunday’s 100-mile long race for keen amateur cyclists. “The experience was incredible,” says David. He adds: It's a very special event to be part of, and I felt really lucky to represent Glass Door. I'm really pleased to have been able to support the charity, as the work they do to provide shelter and support for those who need it is truly fantastic. This was David's second time completing the race and he was proud to improve his time by nearly half an hour. "It really helped that the weather was pretty much perfect!" he says. "There is always a wonderful atmosphere at these events, with so many people motivated so positively to make differences in people's lives." All three riders work for Peter Jones in Sloane Square, and many of their fellow John Lewis Partners offered encouragement and sponsorship. The cycling team received “fantastic support,” David says from Glass Door, friends, colleagues and family. “That really encouraged us on the day,” he added. Results Our cyclist and supporters have already raised a combined total of over £12,500, with the figure still growing. Says Glass Door boss Steven Platts: What these nine cyclists have accomplished is amazing. It means almost one hundred people will be able to find shelter for a week next winter. Massive thanks due all the riders and their supporters for bringing shelter and hope to those in our communities who are experiencing homelessness. Glass Door has three places for RideLondon-Surrey 100 on 30 July 2017. Please get in touch if you would like to apply for a place or if you would like to consider another challenge. Links to sponsorship pages: Steve Gamble: https://www.justgiving.com/Stevescycle2016/ Ben Davies: https://www.justgiving.com/ben-davies24/ Mark McKenna, Bex Watson, Rosie Line, Laura Pais (volunteers from Holy Trinity Brook Green Shelter and teachers from Larmenier and Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School ): https://www.justgiving.com/Team-Larsh/ Delroy, David and Rick: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teampeterjones More photos can be found on our London-Paris Facebook album and on the RideLondon-Surrey Facebook post.