23rd Oct, 2016

Vale mum heading to Paris to honour Noel

Aaron Wise 24th Aug, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A KIND-HEARTED Vale mum of five will saddle up and ride from London to Paris in just four days in memory of a much-loved Evesham Royal British Legion (RBL) veteran.

Fiona George’s ‘Pedal to Paris’ challenge will take her on the ride of her life when she joins more than 220 other riders at Greenwich Park on Thursday September, 3 as part of the RBL’s 20th annual bike ride.

The 46-year-old will cycle almost 300 miles before completing the mammoth effort on Sunday September, 6 where a moving service of remembrance will be held at the Arc de Triomphe.

Fiona will be cycling in memory of Noel Wilkes, a Normandy veteran who was a respected member of the Evesham RBL, who tragically passed away last October.

She hopes to raise funds for serving personnel, veterans and their families.

The RBL will be holding a ‘Fiona’s Pedal to Paris POPPY FEST’ event in the town’s Market Square next Saturday (August 29) from 3pm to help with sponsorship and fund-raising, towards her target of £2,000.

The event will host blues and rock bands including Mr Wolf, Heavy Oil and Fifteen English Pounds and sponsor forms will be available from The Fairfield, The Red Horse and The Trumpet, while Gummy Gumdrops in Vine Street will have a jar of sweets on offer.

“I’ve been training two to three times a week travelling distances between 40 to 60 miles since the end of February,” Fiona told the Observer.

“Last year I did an event for charity which saw me walk 5km everyday for 50 days but I’ve never done anything on a bike before.

“I want to give a special thanks to my personal trainer and Evesham firefighter Phill Field, who has helped prepare me for this challenge,” she added.

Charles Byrne, director of fund-raising at the RBL said: “We are very grateful to Fiona for taking on the Pedal to Paris challenge.

“It really is an incredible experience and we wish her all the best for the ride.”

Pedal to Paris is the only other cycling event, other than the Tour de France, where the Champs-Élysées is closed to traffic for the cyclists to cross onto the Arc de Triomphe – and has raised more than £5million for the RBL since 1995.

A JustGiving page has been set up at www.justgiving.com/RBLLONDON2PARIS or donations can be made by texting Noel92, followed by the amount given, to 70070