Nottingham

Novice cyclists take on 'gruelling' London-to-Paris challenge

Elliot, Max and Matthew on a training sprint Image copyright Max Pettifer
Image caption The three friends agreed to find a charity to support when they were chatting on holiday - but only one of them had a bike

Three novice cyclists who admit they are "still falling off our bikes" are determined to ride from London to Paris for charity.

The self-proclaimed Reliant Robins are taking pots of Vaseline to deal with "chafing", Elliot Pettifer, 23, said.

"We're not long-distance cyclists so it's going to be a difficult and gruelling journey," fellow cyclist Matthew Weston said.

The three, all from Mansfield, will set off from London in September.

'Inner tube' trouble

They want to raise £10,000 for the Derwen College in Shropshire which educates people with learning disabilities and needs £50,000 to fix its swimming pool.

The 300-mile (482km) trip will take them four days.

Elliot's brother Max, 26, thought up the challenge after visiting the college during his work as a digital content manager. But only one of them owned a bike.

"When Max told me and Elliot about the bike challenge we had to go out and buy one, " Mr Weston, a dental nurse in Mansfield, said.

"Basically the three of us have next to no experience when it comes to cycling - we may have dabbled a bit but that's it.

"I think we have definitely underestimated how difficult it's going to be… the three of us even struggled to change an inner tube on one training ride."

Image copyright Max Pettifer
Image caption Elliot (middle) said none of them had ridden more than a few miles on a bike before agreeing to take up the challenge

Elliot, who now lives in Plymouth, added: "We have had about three training runs, and on every ride so far one of us has fallen off."

After one of their 50-mile training runs, Elliot said he spent the entire next day recovering in bed.

He said: "It is amazing who will support us - my brother even had a donation of £100 from someone at a hairdressers."

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