JOURNALIST Betty Titmus tells me that lone cyclist Andy Fleming (29), whose parents live at Shamley Green, Surrey, completed 175 miles through Surrey, Sussex and Kent in just over two days, on a sponsored ride to send sick pilgrims to Lourdes.
Andy has survived a "chapter of accidents" to make the ride alone. His sister, Charlotte, who was going with him was in :collision with a taxi, on her bike, less than a month before the ride. She had two broken collar bones and 16 stitches and 16 stitches in her ear, and is slowly ;recovering.
They started out, too, with the idea of sending a young housewife and mother, from Newcastle Emlyn in Wales, to Lourdes on a pilgrimage financed by Ampleforth College, of which Andy is an old boy.
Mother of three children, she is running a smallholding with her husband, and is going blind with retinitis pigmentosa.
An application form for the pilgrimage never reached its destination, because for around three weeks a postbox was jammed, and her letter, among others, was eventually returned to her as the sender. By that time it was too late to apply again, and other personal considerations had made her think twice about going.
So any money Andy makes from sponsorship will go to help the Ampleforth Pilgrimage funds, which are an ongoing commitment from year to year, sending around 56 sick people annually to Lourdes.
Andy started his ride from London on Friday morning (June 29), cycling to Shamley Green where he stayed over until Saturday. Leaving on Saturday morning (June 30), he rode via Loxwood, Washington, Shoreham, Newhaven, Glendebourne and Framfield to Blackboys Youth Hostel, where he spent Saturday „night. On Sunday morning (July 1) he rode to Rotherfield, Wateringbury, Aylesford and Chatham, and then on the A2 back to his home in London, completing about 80 miles in the day.
Further information: the Ampleforth Lourdes Pilgrimage, to Mr Bussey (Treasurer), 14 the Laurels, Burnside, Fleet, hants, referring to the ride.