The courage of two Kenilworth women who have been through breast cancer treatment has inspired two friends to cycle more than 1,000 miles for charity.
After dipping their toes in the lake at Abbey Fields in Kenilworth, Andy Honess and his close friend Richard Torr were given an enthusiastic send-off on Saturday by supporters - including the town mayor - as they embarked on their 12-day cycle to Valbonne (near Antibes) in the south of France, where they will dip their toes in the Mediterranean Sea.
Kenilworth man Andy, who runs his own business consultancy, said: “We were inspired by Michelle Reid, who we know through the rugby club, and another lady from Kenilworth, who have both had breast cancer.
“Michelle nominated Breast Cancer Now as the charity for us to support as the charity is very positive about women surviving breast cancer, like these two ladies.”
The route will take the two men down to Portsmouth, before they cross the Channel and pedal on to Saint-Malo on the west coast of France and make their way up to Mont Ventoux - considered the hardest part of the Tour de France - before continuing along to the south coast.
No stranger to difficult cycling feats, Andy featured in the pages of this newspaper back in 2003 when he made his way on two wheels from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
He said: “It’s always been an ambition of mine to cycle through beautiful parts of France. Richard will be 50 this year and I will be 50 next year, so we thought we’d mark it some how.
“Cycling is something you can carry on doing as you get older as it’s easier on the legs than many sports. I’m feeling pretty strong right now and excited about the adventure.”
The two men are funding the trip themselves and will be accompanied by Mark Plumb in a support vehicle.
They will be joined by Michelle and her partner, as well as their own wives, at the end of the journey in Valbonne.
To sponsor them, visit www.justgiving.com/LaPetiteTour2016
To find out more about Breast Cancer Now, visit breastcancersupport.org.uk