Brothers’ 1,100-mile London-Florence charity bike ride

Blacko brothers John and James Dent in Florence after cycling 1,100 miles in a charity ride from London.
Blacko brothers John and James Dent in Florence after cycling 1,100 miles in a charity ride from London.

Two Blacko brothers have completed an exhausting 10-day charity cycling tour riding from London to Florence.

James and John Dent pedalled 1,100 miles in 10 days with 20 others during May and June and have raised approximately £80,000 in the process.

On day one, the 22-strong bunch departed London for France and travelled across Brittany, through the Loire Valley, over the Massif Central hills of mid-France and into the foothills of the Alps by the end of the first week.

After two tough days crossing mountains including the 8,678ft. Col du Galibier and the 6,752ft. Col du Lautaret, a tired peloton arrived in north west Italy, weaving down the Italian Riviera on day nine and then into Tuscany for the Florence finish on day 10.

Both brothers were among eight to tackle the daunting Alpe d’Huez and its 21 hairpin bends as an additional challenge, with John, who lives in London, completing the 6,102ft. climb in an hour and James, of Malkin Close, Blacko, four minutes later.

Speaking on the highs and lows of the ride, James said: “It was really, really hard and looking back on it, it’s a bit of a dream. It was a great feeling when we reached Florence.

“The many aches and pains every morning after not many hours sleep was tough, especially when you just wanted another hour in bed to recover.

“Also, the feeling of exhaustion and running low on fluids in the heat was hard when you knew you just had to keep going.

“But there have been so many highs; being able to eat as much as you want knowing that you needed all the food to fuel each days riding was brilliant and the simple feeling of a shower at the end of a scorching hot eight-hour, 120-mile day in the saddle was amazing.

“Seeing how high and far you have actually come at the top of alpine climbs and the breathtaking views was another highlight of the trip and I think we’ve all made new friends in the team.

“We’ve raised a mindblowing amount of money and all three are great causes. The money is still rising too which is satisfying.”

The money raised be split equally when collected between Cancer Research UK, Alzheimer’s Research UK and Architecture for Humanity. Visit to donate.