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All set for his Tour de France

PUBLISHED: 09:28 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:02 01 August 2010

A BECCLES man will be embarking on his own mini Tour de France in the summer.

21-year-old Christopher Maddison is raising funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance by cycling 500 miles along the northern coast of France all on his own.

A BECCLES man will be embarking on his own mini Tour de France in the summer.

21-year-old Christopher Maddison is raising funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance by cycling 500 miles along the northern coast of France all on his own.

He will be cycling from Calais to Caen and back, travelling by day and camping by night. He will be travelling with a trailer on the back of his bike which will carry all his camping gear and provisions for the arduous task.

It will be Mr Maddison's second attempt at the feat after he encountered problems last summer.

“I got everything sorted, got off the ferry at the other end, and the bike broke!” he said. “It was the weight of the trailer as the bike went down the ramp. It was quite degrading! I thought I'd go and get it repaired but because the bike parts in France have different measurements I couldn't. I got back on the ferry I had come on and went home!”

Mr Maddison, of Leggett Walk, has been cycling since the age of five, but this will be his first big ride. He plans to take his time, travelling about 50 miles a day. He has been training for the event by cycling from Beccles to Diss and back, and believes that the trip will take about two weeks. He aims to leave at the end of July.

Apart from last summer's brief trip into France he has never been abroad on his own. “It will be nice to have the independence to do that,” he said. “I want to explore a different country.”

He chose the northern coast of France for his excursion because of its beauty as well as its challenging terrain.

“My relatives said the northern coast of France is quite stunning,” he explained. “But also there are steep drops and big climbs.”

He decided to raise funds for East Anglian Air Ambulance because he is interested in air travel and the emergency services. “I'm aware of what they do and they do a darn good job,” added Mr Maddison, who aims to raise £2,000. “I thought, 'why not help them out?'”

Michael's Cycles in Beccles will be donating him a bike for the journey, while Coopers of Beccles are donating the camping gear. Cedar Cycles in Wrentham are donating the trailer, however he is still looking for any cycling equipment that can be donated to the cause.

To sponsor Mr Maddison visit www.justgiving.com/normandychallenge. If you have any bike equipment to donate call Mr Maddison on 07928433399.

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