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Taverham couple get on their tandem to raise cash

Two octogenarian tandem cyclists, from Taverham, have visited 42 different Norwich churches in just six hours to raise almost £400 for Our Lady and St Walstans church in Costessey, as well as cash for the Norfolk Churches Trust.

Parishioners Michael and Paula Hughes rode their well-travelled tandem around Norwich during September’s Annual Bike Ride and Walk and the cash has just been received by grateful parish priest Fr David Ward.

Paula completed the ride despite having recently fractured her wrist while attending The Tandem Club International Rally in Germany.

Michael said: "Our six-hour sponsored ride took place within the city. Route planning was the key to fitting so many churches into our route.

"Around 2005, Paula noticed that many of our local hills had become much steeper so we bought an electric ‘shopper’ bike. 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 2000 miles and undertaking rides of up to 40 miles a day in very hilly country and roads that were so unmade as to merit a Turner prize were it possible to bring them to the Tate Gallery to sit beside ‘The Unmade Bed’.

The intrepid couple still have one ambition to complete though.

"We have yet to ride to Walsingham and back from our home in Taverham but we are working on it," said Michael. "Our next rally will be an easy one for us as it is based on Market Rasen in Lincs. Our ambition remains the same for every trip – to get back in one piece."

Pictured are Michael and Paula Hughes with their tandem at a rally in the Czech Republic.