Intrepid Edinburgh granddad reaches France on rickshaw

Len collingwood - aka Rickshaw Grandad - has now reached Calais on  his fundraising challenge of Edinburgh to Istanbul
Len collingwood - aka Rickshaw Grandad - has now reached Calais on his fundraising challenge of Edinburgh to Istanbul
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An Edinburgh man aiming to smash a Guinness World Record riding a rickshaw to Istanbul is in high spirits with Paris in his sights.

Grandad Len Collingwood is on a quest to cycle 3200 miles through 14 countries in just 100 days while raising cash for Cancer Research UK.

Len Collingwood

Len Collingwood

If successful, the 66-year-old would double the current record for the longest journey ever by cycle rickshaw – which stands at 1600 miles.

READ MORE: Edinburgh grandad’s record-breaking rickshaw ride to Turkey

After setting off from Edinburgh on June 1, Len has made his way through Scotland and England before boarding a ferry over to Calais.

He is now aiming to make up for lost time in France with him being a day behind schedule.

Len said: “I’m probably a day behind where I wanted to be. Kent is quite hilly and it brought the average speed down from 7mph to 6mph which has made the difference so far.

“The rickshaw does not gain speed going downhill like a normal bike so I don’t make up for it like you do usually on a bike.

“There was a lot of traffic in the south of England but the country roads in France should help me get back on track.

“The weather has been variable but it was mostly dry in England. Getting into France it was wet and I had a strong wind against me initially.”

Len is familiar with the demands of long distance cycling after completing an 8000-mile ride from Mongolia to Scotland back in 2012.

Len underwent a vigorous training regime which saw him tackle 300 spin classes in the past six months to be ready for his challenge.

He has been self-sufficient, camping in his tent throughout the opening three weeks of his venture.

The father-of-two has been keeping in regular contact with his family including receiving pictures of his three-month-old grandson on WhatsApp.

He said: “I’ve done a lot of trips on my own, I’m quite happy in my own company. As long as I can frequently contact my family when I need to.

“I love cycling in France because the roads are better and there is less traffic which makes it a lot easier.

“I’ll enjoy it before getting to Paris which could be difficult to negotiate with the rickshaw. It is very busy as you can imagine but I hope to be there tomorrow.”

Len is hoping to raise £15,000 for charity in the process of fulfilling his dream of having his name in the record books. And he is says his eye catching transport has attracted attention which will help contribute to him reaching his goal.

Len added: “People have been very supportive since I began the challenge, stopping me to ask what I’m doing and for what cause. I’d collected £260 on my travels so far so I’ve had plenty of interest.

“I’m enjoying it so far, feeling good and positive. I am determined to do this and I’d like to thank everyone for donating so far.”

People can donate online at https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/lens-giving-page