Camden charity worker completes Daft Punk-inspired tandem ride to Paris for older LGBT group

Tom Blackie (in gold) and Henri Myers leave London to cycle to Paris on their tandem. Picture: Polly

Tom Blackie (in gold) and Henri Myers leave London to cycle to Paris on their tandem. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

For many people, cycling the 250-or-so miles from London to Paris would be enough of a challenge, never mind doing it on a tandem bicycle while sporting outlandish outfits inspired by chart-toppers Daft Punk.

But that is exactly what Camden charity worker Tom Blackie, 45 – who helped to organise the Hampstead Summer Festival – and his partner Henri Myers, 40, did this week.

Having adopted the moniker Daft Gay Punks, the duo embarked on their two-wheeled adventure on Friday morning.

They battled punctures, brake malfunctions, roadworks and wrong turns before finally making it to the French capital after four long days on Monday night.

Mr Blackie, 45, a fundraiser at Age UK Camden and former Camden Council officer, said: “It was amazingly fun but physically exhausting – our legs are shot to pieces.

“We did about 300 miles because sometimes we just got lost or there were roadworks and we ended up going way off.

“It was a lot harder than I thought it would be but we were just delighted to make it.”

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Their efforts were in aid of a groundbreaking project to support hundreds of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people called Opening Doors London, which was founded by Age UK Camden.

Mr Blackie, of Gloucester Drive, Finsbury Park, said: “It’s an amazing charity, but a lot of our main funding dries up next March, so we’re on a big fundraising drive.”

He added: “The difficulties older LGBT people experience are mammoth.

“If you were a gay man in the 1960s or 70s, it was criminalised, you could be locked up and get a criminal record at any given moment.

“A lot of older gay men are terrified of social services or authority figures, because when growing up they were told they were criminals and could be put away. Many now need help from social services, but they’re scared to go near them.”

The pair have so far raised about £4,500. To donate visit