Cycling 550km from Geneva to Nice in aid of Macmillan!

Not being one to shy away from a challenge Paul Anderson recently rode the Macmillan Cancer Support Geneva to Nice 550km cycle ride. Paul dedicated the charity bike ride to his late wife Jane. Macmillan raise money for practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care. As soon as Paul created his Just Giving page the donations started flooding in. It was clear he was going to raise a significant amount of money, and there was no turning back! Paul talks to us about the Geneva to Nice cycle ride in our latest blog.

Paul Geneva to Nice

How did you hear about the charity cycle ride for Macmillan?

I have always been passionate about raising money for charities, and annually partake in several charity fundraising activities. Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity close to my heart, and I often look at their website to see their latest fundraising activities. The Geneva to Nice cycle ride appealed to me because cycling is one of my passions and I felt I could put that at good use to help raise money for an important cause.

How did you train for it?

I already do a significant amount of cycling within my normal week, but I did make sure I increased my training by cycling into work and to the local pub whenever I could!

Who else took part?

The cycling team undertaking the challenge was a mixed group of ages, cycling abilty and backgrounds, but we were all passionate about raising money for Macmillan whilst partaking in an incredible experience. As a group we raised over £90,000 which is a truly staggering amount, we hope to have achieved over £100,000 when the fundraising comes in.

What was the format of the cycle ride?

On our first day in Geneva saw us ensuring our bikes were roadworthy before hitting the roads, leaving Switzerland behind us and gently climbing into France. There was a bit of nervousness within the team as we set off, with discussions around people wondering if they are fit enough and if they have done sufficient training – well, we would soon find out! As we climbed into France the views of the Alps were breathtaking, and we rode south into the town of Annecy before heading towards Massif des Bauges and descending down those famous hair pin bends in Col du Frêne which was 950km high! On day one we cycled 85 miles.

On the second day we cycled back into the Isère valley before reaching the historic city of Grenoble, making our way through Roissard to the stunning Lac du Sautet. before a short climb from the small town of Corps. We cycled 75 miles on day 2.

The third day saw our longest cycle ride of 90 miles, through the southern Alps that often feature in the Tour de France and along the hilly Route Napoleon. The hardest part of this day was cycling up the highest point of the challenge which was at 1268m high, the Col de Manse, yet the views were amazing and this really spurred us all on to get to the top. We continued towards Provence, entering the town of Sisteron, and our days ride ended when we reached the lovely old spa town of Digne-les-Bains

The final day was a stunning one, and saw us cycle 88 miles. The weather was perfect and the day started off on a quiet rolling road before we tackled the Col de Corobin (1230m) and pedal uphill for 10km. Rejoining the Route Napoleon, we faced several more testing climbs and descents passing the town of Castellane on the river Verdon. We reached the medieval town of Gréolières, perched high up in the hills behind the coast, before taking our feet off the pedals and freewheeling all the way to the coast. We were on the home straight as we cycled into the heart of Nice along the famed Promenade des Anglaises.

It was a charity cycle ride to remember. In total the team cycled an impressive 550km, and I shared an incredible experience with people had never met before this ride.

How much did you raise?

As a team we raised £90,000 for Macmillan, and the number is still rising!

From a personal perspective, I originally aimed to raise £1,700.00 but by the end of the charity bike ride I had raised over £3,400 thanks to the generosity of my friends and work colleagues. For those reading this blog, it is still not to late to donate on my Just Giving page.

I have planned more charity fundraising both as an individual and with my colleagues from DCResponse. It is such an important thing to do and I am lucky to work with people who share my passion for raising money for charities. Talking to the team at DCResponse, we reckon we have raised over £15,000 for local and national causes, and we will continue to do so in 2016 and beyond.