Beth Kremer-Collins So why am I doing this ride. For a number of good and slightly dubious reasons.

Firstly, we’ve just moved back to the Uk from Shanghai and with a summer ahead of me of stressing about getting the kids school places and endless hours on the phone to BT I thought what better way to keep myself sane and fit than spending time on my bike reconnecting with the beautiful British countryside.

But its not just my mental health that I’m thinking about. I have watched with awe as this charity has gone from strength to strength under the leadership of the amazing and slightly crazy Alison Baum. Being a Clinical Psychologist I know how much difference supporting new parents makes to their mental health and the mental health of their children and how this preventative work can have a long term impact on our children. Best Beginnings is part of the Heads Together campaign, increasing awareness of Mental illness and reducing the stigma, all things that are very important to me professionally and personally.

I also know that cycling to Paris with Alison will be an adventure when you never know what might happen next. And there is a final little reason and its not because I like Paris. Actually I had my worst breast feeding experiences in Paris when I was a single mum of my 3 month old daughter, 12 years ago. Me and my daughter and our buggy were definitely persona non grata at the cafes and restaurants where I got lots of dirty looks and shakes of heads. I remember looking all afternoon for a place to change her nappy. In desperation going into McDonalds only to find that not even they had one. So cycling to Paris to raise money for a breast feeding charity seems like the perfect response to the most baby un-friendly city I’ve experienced in all my travels around the world.

Please donate generously – I need all the support I can get. Getting into a pair of inflatable pants (as my son called them) at the age of 46 and cycling 300 km is certainly a little scary!. Beth Kremer-Collins