A CHARITY campaigner and his daughter have completed a gruelling cross-channel cycle ride – although he had to finish without his bike.
Ian Leech, of Branston, and his daughter Becky, cycled from London to Paris, the latest fund-raiser in his unflinching support for the Lymphoma Association, in honour of his beloved daughter Mel who died from non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008, aged just 20.
The four-day ride saw the pair endure soaring temperatures topping 35C and eventually saw Mr Leech cross the finish line at the Eiffel Tower without his bike.
“I made it to the Eiffel Tower but my bike did not,” he told the Mail.
“About five miles away I stopped at a junction with a group of fellow cyclists and when I went to start up again I heard a terrible crunching sound.
“The turning mechanism was embedded within the front wheel.
“My first thought was that I would have to get the breakdown bus and Becky was going to have to finish by herself.
“However, they got me a spare bike out and I managed to get there where we were met by my wife Julie, and Becky’s partner Dave.”
During the ride the pair climbed over 12,000 feet, cycled over 285 miles and burned over 19,000 calories,
Mr Leech said it was worth it to be able to ride with Becky and raise more money for the Lymphoma Association.
However he admitted that it was definitely a case of a third and final time.
He said: “Cycling with Becky was fantastic and we had a great trip. I’ve done London to Paris three times now and this was my last. I don’t think I can top riding with Becky.
“We set a target of raising £2,000 and we will have raised over £4,000 which is absolutely fantastic.
“We travelled with a group of about 100 cyclists and they were all brilliant. One man rode it on a penny farthing all the way from Newcastle – it was amazing.”
Mr Leech now goes to the Beacon of Hope awards at the Museum of London on Thursday night to receive an award for his tireless fund-raising efforts.