Three pharmacists – Graham Stretch, Helen Kilminster and Robin Conibere – have set off from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) London offices bound for Paris on the three-seater tandem.
The trio set off on 4 May 2018 and, over the course of the bank holiday weekend, they will ride the three-person bike all the way to the Eiffel Tower, raising money for two charities: Macmillan Cancer Support and Pharmacist Support, which works for pharmacists and their families, former pharmacists and pharmacy students to provide help and support in times of need.
Kilminster commented: “We decided on a charity bike ride back in May 2017, but Robin [Conibere] and I didn’t own a bike at that time. So, remembering the ‘Goodies’, Graham [Stretch] — who commutes on a bike everyday — suggested the three-seater so no one gets left behind.”
The team have named their challenge the PCPAride, as all three cyclists are part of the Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA) committee team. The three-seater tandem had to be hired from a specialist shop in Blackpool, Lancashire, and is the the only one of its kind in the country.
Training has been “eventful”, the team said. Their first practice saw them taking an unscheduled dip in a stream, and their second was at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress where security apparently “took a dim view” of three pharmacists on a bike completing laps of the ExCeL London conference centre.
Nonetheless their training has culminated in rides of over 100km in the past few weeks. “We’re not wishing to rush things; there is no time target,” said Conibere, adding that the biggest challenge is the distance itself – over 200 miles.
The team are not planning to cycle back to London; Stretch said they were “not sure our backsides would withstand the ride home”.
At the time of their departure from the RPS offices in Wapping, east London, the amount raised had reached £5,032.25. To make a donation, visit the team’s fundraising page.