Newsletter Newsletter 3/2015 Le Tandem Trek - a look back
Newsletter 3/2015
Le Tandem Trek - a look back

You might already have read about the Taekwon-do Tandem Challenge on my previous report (, where I wrote about the three fine man, riding for the noble cause of raising money for cancer research. Now the trip is over and with long and hard kilometers behind them, I have made a retrospective interview with Mr. Philip Lear (National coach for England, AETF board member) again to have a look back on their achievement.

How many miles/kilometers did you do on the bike?

In total we did 290 miles, that’s 466 kms, it’s difficult to say exactly how much each of us did, but it would be somewhere about the 200 miles mark. It really was a big challenge that turned into an adventure at times.

All the three trekkers on the two-seater bike for the sake of a photograph

What was the hardest part of your trip?

Without doubt it was the first day, we were up at 6AM on the Thursday, and due to stopping at the hospital in Maidstone, two punctures and the problems we had in Dover getting on the boat, that eventually went to Dunkirk instead of Calais meant we didn’t get into our room in Calais until 2.30am, that was a long day!

Did you encounter any surprises you haven't expected?

Yes, on the first day after a monumental climb the rear tyre became flat for the second time that day. We were at the top of a hill looking over Dover and the support vehicle couldn’t find us. Fortunately we downloaded an app that tracked our phones so I was able to give directions to the driver who came and picked us up. On the last day riding into Paris, we had no phone battery on one phone, the Garmin that was giving us directions on the bike wasn’t working anymore, we were using another mobile phone to track where the hotel was but I dropped it and it broke and on top of that the bike broke just outside of Paris and we couldn’t free wheel any longer as the cogs were blocked so it meant we had to ride all the time!

How much money did you raise?

We have successfully raised £5,000 for Cancer Research and with current donations and pledges we have about €3,000 for Gustave Roussy, but we want to raise more for them if we can, as they were absolutely amazing on the day we went to visit and it was a very emotional moment for all of us. I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of the Taekwon-Do community and my dear friends for taking the time to follow our adventure and for donating to our important cause, it means so much to know that my TKD family are by my side doing this.

For how long the donation sites will be available?

I believe donations can still be taken for another 30 days, so until 27th August, so if anyone wishes to still donate then that would be fantastic. They can read our story from each day on the Facebook page "Le Tandem Trek” too (

Have you learned anything new from your trip?

Yes, I have a higher respect for cyclists and it will make me a better driver around them, I also learnt how important it is to keep your bottom comfy after riding a bike… OUCH! I learnt that even though I have a small injury, actually it was never going to stop me from achieving this, I actually loved every second of it from organising to taking part. It was quite an exhilarating experience.

The support vehicle at Big Ben, London just before the start of the trip. If you have good observation skills, you can see the ITF logo on the door :)

Did you do anything related to Taekwon-do during your trip worth mentioning?

Yes, I did stretching, stretching and more stretching. It was so important everyday to do that and it helped my body, I wanted to do some side kicks in different places along the trip, but my hip doesn’t allow me too at the moment. But I can tell you for sure I used all of the tenets of TKD throughout the trip, it truly was a challenge.

Mr. Lear’s message for those who practice Taekwon-do:

We had many enduring memories from the few days we were away, but without doubt the most amazing one (and I would say even bigger than arriving at the Eiffel Tower as that was amazing too) was on the Sunday evening, we had arrived in Paris and went out to celebrate with a good meal and when we sat down we found the clip on Facebook from the Italian National Taekwon-Do Team that had raised €425 for the Trek. ( We were totally blown away by this incredible act of kindness and generosity, it was completely unexpected and came at a time where we were already very emotional from the journey. Seeing that clip absolutely topped the trip off and made it even more special knowing that we had the support of such lovely and generous people. We were so amazed at what they had done that we made a clip for them especially straight away at the restaurant and posted it on our site to thank them. I still can’t believe it now. We also had a very generous donation from FITAE and many other very well known people in our Taekwon-Do World and personal friends from Grandmasters and Masters to World and European Champions as well as students and parents of students who have supported us. To all of them I want to thank you so much, this is really what family is about and nothing can replace what we have for each other when we see one another at various events around the world, there is so much more than just friendship. It is family. Thank you. Taekwon!

The arrival at the Eiffel Tower

I myself would personally encourage all of you to share this amazing story, and help them even by a bit of donation. Even though the site for Gustave Roussy is in French, and most probably you can understand English better, we encourage to help balancing the donations, so they can reach the same numbers as Cancer Research UK.

I have already donated. Have you?

Source of the photographs: Facebook, Le Tandem Trek

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