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SEATON: Family set to ‘spin like a Fitz’

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

David, Alice, Jasper, Paul, Lee and Chris are all set to cycle from Berlin to Paris to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I

David, Alice, Jasper, Paul, Lee and Chris are all set to cycle from Berlin to Paris to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I

THERE are numerous events being organised in East Devon to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak World War I but a Beer family have come up with something quite unique. Dad Paul FitzHenry, 16-year-old daughter Alice, who is a student at Axe Valley Community Colleg, and 27-year-old son Paul, who lives in Sidmouth, will be joined by Paul’s brothers David and Chris, plus the latter’s 13-year-old son Jasper, for a cycle ride with a difference – from Berlin to Paris. The six-strong team will ride in pairs to cover the 1,565 miles in a target time of seven days two riding at any one time while the others rest and recuperate in their motorhome that will provide support and accommodation along the way. “I was looking to find something that the six of us could do to mark the event and initially we looked at cycling along the Western Front but that was too short,” said Paul. “An obvious idea would have been to cycle from Sarajevo, where the first shot was fired, to Paris but that would have taken us over the Alps which wasn’t really practical. “So in the end we came up with an idea to cycle a mile for every day the war lasted and that added up to 1,565 miles.” The team will start at the Brandenburg Gate on July 20th and wind their way across northern Europe taking advantage of the flatter terrain in Holland and Belgium before finishing at the Versailles Palace on July 26th. “We are aiming to ride from 5:30am to 11pm every day with each pair doing stretches of around two hours depending on how they are feeling,” added Paul. “We are having to plot the route as carefully as possible to ensure we spend the maximum time on the bikes.” The group is hoping to raise £3,000 for the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and the Soldier’s Charity and have already received support for kit and material from local firms Northcott Design & Management of Colyton, Fluid Link, Total Well Being, Thomas Westcott Accountants in Axminster and Sidmouth-based G J Bess and Sons Electricians “We are doing as much training as possible and it is going to be a tough but that is what makes it such an interesting challenge,” said Paul. To make a donation, please visit

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