Mark Powell saddles up for London to Paris bike ride challenge

Mark Powell is doing a charity cycle ride to raise money for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance
Mark Powell is doing a charity cycle ride to raise money for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance
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AT 6.30am on Wednesday a cyclist will begin a four-day 290-mile challenge to bike from London to Paris.

Mark Powell, 50, of Buckingham Road, Oakham, is hoping to raise £2,000 through the challenge for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.

The former Oakham Rugby Club coach has been a volunteer for the charity for three years and does talks on their behalf at schools and for community groups.

He is joining a group of people who will cycle from Crystal Palace to the Eiffel Tower - starting on Wednesday and reaching their destination on Saturday.

He said: “I had better make sure I eat my porridge!

“I am looking forward to it with some trepidation, but I have been training hard since before Christmas.

“I spent the first six weeks in the gym every day and have been cycling around the area.

“When I gave up coaching I wanted a new challenge.”

Mark is borrowing a racing bike from his friend Steve Reed and is getting ready for the off.

He said: “The air ambulance is such a worthy cause.

“We live in an equestrian area and I am involved in sports so have had to call the air ambulance before.

“Last month 11 of the 78 calls were to equestrian accidents.”

To sponsor Mark visit www.justgiving.com/DeborahPowell1