Charity cyclists are given a gift for Lord Mayor of Norwich

Two Norwich men have raised nearly �4,000 for charity by cycling the length of France – and they also picked up a gift for the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Jenny Lay, en route.

The 650-mile cycle trip through France was in aid of Norfolk charity, Break, with a target of raising �2,500.

James Chant and Damian Conway began their adventure in the northern French city of Caen, cycled through the Forest de Senonches, followed the Loire river down to the famous vineyards in the south of the country and finished up in Aigues-Mortes on the southern coast, near Montpellier.

Mr Chant, 47, of Unthank Road in the Golden Triangle, works for Aviva at Broadland Business Park in Thorpe St Andrew and Mr Conway, 53, of Crown Road in Norwich, is a director and contact lens specialist at Castle Street opticians Dipple and Conway.

They were invited to the Lord Mayor's chambers at City Hall before setting off and were presented with a letter of introduction and a personal greeting to the mayor of La Grande Motte, near Montpellier.

James and Damian then took a personal gift to Stephane Rossignol, the mayor of La Grande Motte, who sent a gift in return to Norwich, which the pair took to City Hall last week.

Damian explained further, saying: 'We went and saw the Lord Mayor of Norwich before we left and she gave us a lovely glossy book about the history of Norwich. It was a lovely book and when we handed it over to the mayor of La Grande Motte, we were then presented with a little book of their town's history so it was a nice exchange.'

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The journey went swimmingly for the pair, with no punctures or problems with their bikes on the whole journey.

Damian added that with gift aid included to online and offline donations, they had raised more than �3,770, for which they were really grateful.

'It was a hard challenge but we had trained well for it,' he said.

'The countryside was beautiful, there were some lovely little villages and we found everyone that we bumped into was lovely.

'We even picked up 25 euros along the way!'

- To donate to the pair's cause log on to or read about the trip through their blog at

- Are you raising money for charity in an unusual way? Call Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email