Marathon cycling challenge from London to Paris for Downham Market councillor

A town councillor is gearing up to take part in a marathon charity bike challenge this summer.

Jenny Groom is often seen whizzing through Downham Market on a bike on short journeys – but she will push her body to its limits when she takes part in the Royal British Legion Pedal to Paris 2012.

She will join 300 other cyclists to start their 285-mile journey from Greenwich Park in London on August 30 before cycling 80 miles a day to finish in Paris four days later.

The councillor for Old Town ward took part in the event last year and raised �1,600 for the Royal British Legion but hopes to raise more this year.

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She said: 'I had a fantastic time. It really was quite an incredible experience and I got to meet so many wonderful people.

'There were plenty of highlights, but for me the most memorable moment was being escorted up the Champs Elys�e to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, which was followed by a very moving memorial ceremony.

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'Last year I had a chest infection and a heavy bike and it was a real struggle but I enjoyed it so much I was determined to do it again.'

It will be the 17th year the Royal British Legion, which is celebrating its 91st anniversary this year, has organised the four-day challenge.

The cyclists will be split into three groups which cycle at 18mph, 14mph and 12mph – Mrs Groom will be part of the latter group. She continued: 'It's a hard ride, particularly coming from Norfolk because there are so many hills on the route.'

She added: 'My reason for supporting the British Legion is because both my parents served in the second world war and my father continued to be a professional soldier for most of his working life, so I feel a bit connected.'

The funds raised by the cyclists, including veterans and serving troops, will go towards projects such as the Royal British Legion Battle Back Centre, a national centre of excellence for adventurous training and adaptive sports to aid the recovery of injured troops.

The �30m centre, which opened last year, enables wounded, injured and long-term sick service personnel to regain their fitness and return to duty, or re-skill and make a successful transition to civilian life.

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