Vet pedals to Paris to raise pounds for hounds
A Kent veterinary surgeon has cycled from London to Paris to raise cash for canines. Duncan Ross, who works at Wigmore Veterinary Centre in Rainham, Medway, pedalled over 300 miles to fundraise for Dogs Trust Canterbury.
The bike ride saw Duncan cycle from London to Dover, hop on a ferry to Calais, then pedal for three days through the French countryside to the finish line, the Eiffel Tower. Each leg was around 75 miles, resulting in up to seven hours on the saddle per day.
In January this year, Duncan and his family adopted Crossbreed Maisie from the Whitstable-based charity. Arriving as a stray, one-year-old Maisie quickly established herself as a much-loved member of the Ross family, joining best four-legged friend, Dougal the Labrador. Through sponsorship and collection tins at the vets, Duncan raised almost £850 for the rehoming centre that helped Maisie find her ‘furever’ home.
Duncan, 57, from Cranbrook, said: “Having been forced to retire from the other sports I enjoyed due to injury and eventually a double-hip replacement, I decided to don the Lycra and set myself a challenge to raise money for a cause close to my heart. I like to cycle as much as I can, but I hadn’t pedalled this kind of distance before, so I embarked on solid training and completed a few local long distance events in the lead up to the journey.”
“As soon as my wife, daughters and I met Maisie, we knew she was ‘the one’. Described by the staff as ‘a live wire’, she certainly lives up to that reputation, but she charms everyone she meets and has proved to be an excellent companion to our other dog, Dougal. I was very impressed with the staff and adoption process at Dogs Trust Canterbury, so I was keen to help them out in this way. I funded the trip out of my own pocket so the money raised all went to homeless dogs – I was glad that I also invested in a good pair of padded shorts!”
Riding to victory, Duncan completed the challenge within three days. He continued: “The skies were grey but spirits were high on the last day, as we set off from Beauvais on the final leg. From near the Seine, I rode in a convoy of around 130 bikes for the last few miles, attracting cheers and applause as we went onto the Champs Elysses, past the Arc de Triomphe and onto our finishing point at the Eiffel Tower.
“There was a huge collective sense of achievement at the end; I was definitely pushed up to, and even beyond, my limits. Celebratory champagne was handed out, photos were taken and there was lots of hugging and even a few tears! I’d like to say a massive thank you to all who have donated so very generously.”
If you wish to donate, visit Duncan’s Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/duncanrossl2p.
Dogs Trust Canterbury hosts up to 70 dogs at one time awaiting their special someone and would love to hear from anyone considering rehoming a rescue dog. For more information, please contact 0300 303 0292, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk or pop into the rehoming centre located on Radfall Road, Chestfield, Whitstable, CT5 3ER.