Just two days after the Tour De France riders have demonstrated their speed and skill in the Calder Valley, Todmorden Firefighters will be taking to the saddle for a cycle challenge of their own.
And it will be no mean feat - their target is to cycle all the way to Todmorden’s German twin town Bramsche, and as they are undertaking the ride on their days off, they will have just four days to complete their challenge.
It will be hard work and hard riding, but the benefit will hopefully be a bumper sum raused for three charities, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Save The Children and the Fire Fighters charity, all close to the team’s hearts, explained watch commander and one of the cyclists, Carl Fielden.
“The event will begin when we leave Todmorden Fire Station at 8am on July 8 after finishing our last night shift and hopefully we will be back to return to duty on the 12th - although we may be a little saddle sore!” he said.
Taking part along with Carl will be fire fighters James Priestley, Ryan Binks, David Kaye, Dominic Furby, Simon Moore, Neil Pilling, Andrew Valentine, Mark Warrender and Geoff Shaw, while Robin Ward has offered his services as support driver, duties which may be shared by other volunteers. Together they will travel through England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, with fire fighters cycling in pairs on a rota system, covering around 650 miles. The aim is to raise £3,000 to split between the charities.
The group are inviting donations and are already working closely with local schools to get the fundraising under way as they begin training.
Castle Hill School staff and pupils raised £201 through a dress down day and pupils at Walsden St Peter’s School have raised £400 by holding a sponsored sporting event.
Watch Commander Carl Fielden, Crew Commander James Priestley and firefighter David Kaye visited the school to tell pupils about the ride.
Headteacher Peter Stevenson said: “A great response to our sponsored football skills event gave us the opportunity to support a very worthy cause and say a big thank you to Todmorden firefighters for all they do.”
If you are interested in making a donation, contact the team on 01706 813541.