Couple in their 80s cycle on tandem to 42 churches in just six hours

Paula and Michael Hughes at a tandem rally in Czech Republic. Picture: Diocese of East Anglia

Paula and Michael Hughes at a tandem rally in Czech Republic. Picture: Diocese of East Anglia - Credit: Archant

A couple in their 80s from Taverham cycled on a tandem to 42 churches in just six hours in aid of charity.

Parishioners Michael and Paula Hughes raised almost £400 for Our Lady and St Walstans church in Costessy and the Norfolk Churches Trust.

The couple took on the challenge in Norwich during September's Annual Bike Ride and Walk and the funds they raised have just been received by the parish priest at Our Lady and St Walstans, David Ward.

Mr Hughes said route planning was key to fitting so many churches into such a small window.

Experience was also essential though, and the ride was by no means the couple's first. Mrs Hughes even completed the challenge despite having broken her wrist not long before at the Tandem Club International Rally in Germany.

Mr Hughes said the seemingly increasing steepness of hills in Taverham first switched the pair on to bikes.

He said: 'Around 2005, Paula noticed that many of our local hills had become much steeper so we bought an electric shopper bike.

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'As this proved unsuitable for expeditions along Marriott's Way and beyond we invested in a tandem and joined The Tandem Club.

'We have since attended camping rallies at home and abroad, the furthest afield being the rally at Lipno in the Czech Republic in 2015.

'This involved driving about 2,000 miles and undertaking rides of up to 40 miles a day in very hilly country roads.'

The couple are keen to get back on the bike and have numerous rides planned, however, one core ambition underpins all of their rides.

Mr Hughes said: 'Our next rally will be an easy one for us as it is based on Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.

'We have yet to ride to Walsingham and back from our home in Taverham but we are working on it.

'Our ambition remains the same for every trip - to get back in one piece.'

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