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Video: Boris bike vs Mont Ventoux

London to the top and back in 24 hours - can it be done?

Can you rent out a Boris Bike, drive across France, ride up Mont Ventoux and get back to London in 24 hours?

That’s the challenge Rob Holden and his friends Matt and Ian set themselves, checking out a Boris bike in the small hours, hot-footing it to the Eurotunnel and then across France to Ventoux.

On his JustGiving page, Rob said: “The ride itself was ridiculously hard. Massively over-geared for the relentlessly steep section of the climb, from 6 to 15km, by Chalet Reynard (at 15km) my whole body was in pain but I managed to fight on to the summit.  

“With essentially 1 gear the whole way up, it was a struggle just keeping the pedals turning (25rpm!) and there was a fair bit of weaving at the top.  Having said all that, the weather was perfect, the mountain was awe inspiring and I reached the summit at sunset, which was perfect.”

Then it was time to put the bike in the van and try and get back to London before the deadline.

Did they make it? Watch and find out:

Rob set about this bit of very English madness to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Support, and  has already exceeded his original target of £2,000. If you feel that someone who spent almost three hours toiling up Mont Ventoux on, in effect, a 23kg singlespeed deserves a donation, here's his JustGiving page.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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