Extreme weather no obstacle on Northamptonshire doctor's fundraising cycle to Paris

Dr Reema Pal
Dr Reema Pal

Forty degree heat, melting tarmac and thunderstorms failed to stop a palliative care doctor on her fundraising mission to cycle from London to Paris.

Dr Reema Pal decided to take on a challenge to mark 10 years since she started working at the Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

The pair cycled for around 10 hours a day

The pair cycled for around 10 hours a day

Setting off from Crystal Palace on July 25, Dr Pal and her brother cycled 330 miles over the course of four days, facing extreme weather along the way.

Dr Pal, who lives in Pitsford, said the fact the she started training for the charity event in October helped her to get to the finish line.

She said: "Lots of people were struggling with the heat and quite a few had to get a coach back to the hotel. But we just persevered.

"As well as the heat, we had thunderstorms and fork lightning.

"You could see the steam rising from the water on the road. At one point I said, 'it can't snow' but it hailed instead."

Cycling for around 10 hours a day, the pair met up with the rest of the group taking part in the challenge - around 150 people - just before they arrived in Paris so they could cycle into the capital together.

She said: "We cycled through the Arc de Triomphe, around the Eiffel Tower and then under it.

"Our families were all at the end waiting for us. It was an amazing experience.

"France was beautiful - lots of rolling hills and very few potholes. The locals were really friendly and offered us cold water to drink."

Dr Pal, 39, said she had never completed a challenge like it and had only ever cycled 20 miles at any one time. She said she hopes her efforts will help to inspire other people to take on a challenge.

"It's good thing to do for your own personal gain, to see if you can do something," said Dr Pal.

"A lot of people think they can't do these things but if you don't challenge yourself, you don't grow."

Dr Pal is already focusing on her next adventures - cycling 300 miles in September as part of Cancer Research UK's challenge and a bike ride from Milan to Venice.

The money she has raised from the London to Paris trip - around £6,500 - will go towards a new ultrasound scanner that will improve patient care at the hospice and in some cases, mean that patients do not have to make the journey to hospital.

Dr Pal added: "My patients have donated a lot and they have been so supportive all through my training."

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/reema-pal.