Woolsthorpe charity rider triumphs in Paris on a tandem

Mark Collins and Neil Baldwin celebrate completing the ride to Paris in aid of the Royal British Legion.
Mark Collins and Neil Baldwin celebrate completing the ride to Paris in aid of the Royal British Legion.
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A former member of the Armed Forces has raised over £3,000 for the Royal British Legion by riding tandem to Paris.

Neil Baldwin, from Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, took on the four-day Pedal to Paris challenge with his friend, Mark Collins, on a tandem bike.

They joined 300 other cyclists in London for the challenge and travelled 285 miles, spending a total of 24 hours in the saddle.

Neil and Mark, both former RAF men, found their tandem bike in a war widow’s shed and rebuilt it for the ride.

Neil, 49, said the ride went “exactly to plan”. He added: “It was very emotional when we got to Paris. They only close the Champs-Elysees for the Tour de France and this event. That shows the level of respect there is between the Royal British Legion and its French version. The Mayor of Paris comes out and there is a Remembrance service held under the Arc de Triomphe.”

Neil said the tandem was made of steel and very heavy, but still gave other more modern machines, some costing £8,000, a run for their money.

The event was made more emotional for Neil after his wife, Penny, passed away last year. Neil turns 50 next year and Mark has already reached that milestone so the two are looking to take on another challenge next year.