TWINS are pedalling to Paris in honour of their dad, who suffers from a pair of terrible diseases.
Tom and Sam Walden, both 28, decided to undertake the four-day challenge to raise money and awareness of dementia and motor neurone disease.
Their dad, Pete Walden, who is in his 60s and has lived in the Portsmouth area all his life, has been diagnosed with the diseases.
Tom’s partner, Sally Rose, 29, said: ‘This is a really fun ride for them.
‘They’re having an adventure but also coming into contact with a lot of people so they’ll be able to raise awareness of the diseases.’
The twins are joined by a group of friends – Ross Williams, Jimmy Woodmass, Mike Brown and Gerard MacNeill.
Tom said research into the diseases was a ‘tipping point’ at which drugs to treat the diseases could be developed.
He said: ‘In setting out on our saddles we are trying to spread the word about these illnesses, change perceptions and open minds.
‘Alzheimer’s is one of the last worldwide taboos affecting millions of people, and with little social awareness it is drastically underfunded compared to other life threatening diseases.
‘MND is a progressive disease, which leads to weakness and wasting of nerves through the body.
‘To see this happen is truly devastating, but to see both of these disease happen at the same time is rare, so rare that scientists really have zero answers into the relationship between the two.’
The ride started in London, where the twins live, and yesterday went via Portchester on their way to get the ferry across the channel from Newhaven.
The group then plans to cycle through a national park in northern France, via Versailles and on to the finishing point at the Eiffel Tower on Saturday.
Tom said: ‘This bike ride along with many others to come in the future is also to help fund these scientists do the vital research that may one day find not only treatable drugs but maybe even a cure.
‘So as we slog our way all the way to the Eiffel Tower, the thought of that glass of smooth vin rouge awaiting us, hopefully you guys can spare a little thought for the reasons why.’
For more information or to donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/mindovermatteruk.