PLENTY of pedal power helped a father and son cycle more than 200 miles from London to Paris, to support a national charity.
Dave and Ben Sowden's tremendous efforts raised almost £2,500 for the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, RNID.
Dave, aged 38, works as the managing director of Solihull-based JDS Associates, but lives part time in Brittany where his wife resides. He said they were both enthusiastic at the thought of the long-distance challenge.
"It's the fact that we enjoy cycling anyway, wanted to get a bit fitter and it was for the RNID, so all the ingredients were there."
As if cycling the official distance in three days wasn't enough, the Knowle duo clocked up even more miles by riding six miles from their home to Birmingham International station for the train to London. And then they cycled another 17 miles just to reach their starting point.
Their route took them from London through the Sussex Downs to the ferry at Newhaven, before finally pedalling through the scenic French countryside from Dieppe to Paris.
"It was an incredible experience," said Dave. "There was a great atmosphere, with more than 80 people taking part and we cycled through some wonderfully pretty villages in Normandy.
"It was a great physical challenge and I was relieved to have packed plenty of anti-chaffing gel and sun cream to get us through!"
Eighteen-year-old Ben wears hearing aids and said the RNID had been a useful resource for him when he needed products to help him in everyday life, such as a vibrating alarm clock.
The trainee veterinary nurse said he was "exhilarated" to finish the gruelling cycling challenge and raise vitals funds for the charity. "It was a fantastic moment when we crossed the finish line at the Eiffel Tower and enjoyed celebratory champagne with our fellow fund raisers."
The lycra-clad pair smashed their £2,000 target and even received a donation from the minister for energy, Malcolm Wicks.
If you would like to add to Dave and Ben's fund raising total, log on to www.justgiving.com/dave-andbensowden.