A MIDDLEWICH cyclist is preparing to pedal to Paris - in aid of the Royal British Legion.
Geoff Page, of Lewin Street, is taking part in this year's Poppy-bike challenge in September - a bike ride from London to Paris - and has organised a fundraising event before he goes.
He said: 'The ride is something I've done twice before, and as well as being a great experience, it is also in a very good cause. Because of the potential benefits to former servicemen in Middlewich and across the UK, it's very important to me to raise as much money as possible, so I thought that as well as attracting as much sponsor-ship money as possible, I'd also put on a night of entertainment in Middlewich, so people can spend money on both a good cause and enjoying a social event.'
Mr Page has raised around £1,500 on each of his previous rides to Paris with the Poppy Appeal, but this time hopes to shatter that target.
He said: 'I want to see if we can get it up to £2,000, and the event I've set up should help make that happen.'
From 8pm-late on August 5, Middlewich Royal British Legion Club on Lewin Street will host the party organised by Mr Page. Congleton MP Lady Ann Winterton will open the event, where comedian Don Reid and band Classic Touch, who performed at October's Middlewich Beer Festival, will be the main acts.
Mr Page said: 'This is a very worthy charity - I often think that without charities Britain would come to a standstill, and the Legion supports those who have risked their lives for their country serving in the Second World War and more recent conflicts such as Afghanistan and Iraq.'
For Mr Page, the party signifies the first part of his own efforts to raise funds for the Legion.
He is in training for the four-day 440km ride from London to Paris, starting on September 7.
He said: 'We'll start from London, reaching Calais by ferry at the end of day one. From there, we ride through France to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, arriving on the Sunday. It's a gruelling ride in some ways, but it's also a great event, on which I've made many friends. As a result, it's proving a more and more popular way to raise money for the Legion and it's lucky I got my application in early, as this year there are 200 entrants with another 40 riders waiting as reserves. I'm raring to go, and I hope that the great support I've had in previous years will be shown again.'
Tickets for the party are available for £7 from the club on Lewin Street. Anyone who wants to sponsor Mr Page can contact him on 01606 833319, mobile 07876271471, or make donations direct on his webpage, www.bmycharity.com/ geoffpage06.