Pals set a hot pace on charity cycle ride to Paris

Raise the bar: James and pals arrive in Paris.

Raise the bar: James and pals arrive in Paris.

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An investment expert from Sheffield and seven friends have raised thousands for local and national charities by cycling from London to Paris.

James Bedingfield, of Investec Wealth and Investment, and pals raised more than £40,000 through their 300-mile ride to the Eiffel Tower and a charity ball in the Cutlers’ Hall.

James Beddingfield

James Beddingfield

The team completed the distance in four days, but were left drained after completing two-thirds of the mileage in only the first two.

James, who is a senior investment director at the company, based on Napier Street in Sheffield, said: “There was a great sense of camaraderie within the group with everyone encouraging and looking out for each other.

“When we arrived in Paris on the final afternoon the police stopped the traffic for us around the Eiffel Tower, and hundreds of people clapped and cheered as we rode towards it – it was a fantastic feeling!

“We are still collecting sponsorship so don’t have a final total yet, but it will be over £40,000, which is absolutely superb.”

Each of the friends chose a charity to benefit from the sponsorship raised and a proportion of money from the ball.

James chose The Sheffield Family Holiday Fund, which arranges short breaks for underprivileged families with children, of which he is a trustee.

Other charities benefiting include Bluebell Wood Hospice and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The challenge was also undertaken by Dr Jez McCole, of Gleadless Medical Centre, who raised £3,000 for Action Medical Research. He said: “Thanks to everyone who sponsored me.”

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