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Trio hire Boris Bike, cycle it up French peak and return it - all in 24 hours

Screengrab from a YouTube video showing Robert Holden undertaking the gruelling task Screengrab from a YouTube video showing Robert Holden undertaking the gruelling task

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
7:35 PM

Three friends managed to take a Boris Bike on a gruelling trip up a French mountain, returning it to a London docking station just 22 seconds before the 24-hour rental limit expired.

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Matthew Winstone, Ian Laurie and Robert Holden paid the £2 daily charge for the bike, hiring it from New Kent Road in Southwark at 3.58am on October 26.

They then took it by van through the Eurotunnel and drove to Mont Ventoux, a Tour de France landmark, where Mr Holden, from Teddington, pedalled the three-speed 23kg bike to the top.

The group managed to get the bike back to London by 3.57am the following day - just in time to avoid the £150 fee for going over 24 hours.

Their efforts have so far raised more than £3,600 for Macmillan Cancer Support which was chosen because Mr Holden’s father suffered from the disease.

Their adventure has drawn praise from the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

He said: “Huge congratulations to the trio who have conquered Mont Ventoux for charity and shown our Gallic cousins just how sturdy our city’s hire bikes are.

“This was an astonishing feat of endurance made all the more remarkable by the breakneck speed at which they whizzed back in time to avoid getting a fine.”

Mr Winstone, who, like Mr Laurie, comes from Kingston, south west London, said the idea came as the three friends went for a cycle ride and decided to see how far they could get a Boris Bike in 24 hours.

He said: “We thought ‘Let’s get it somewhere that’s a real cycling Mecca’ - and it doesn’t get much harder than the Ventoux for cycling.”

You can donate to the group’s fundraising effort here.

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