Friday, 17 September 2021

Firefighters helped to prepare for 1,000-mile cycle ride

A TRIATHLON business in Henley is helping firefighters prepare for a charity cycle ride from John

A TRIATHLON business in Henley is helping firefighters prepare for a charity cycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Eighteen firefighters, aged from their early twenties to 63, are taking part in the 1,006-mile challenge, which begins on May 13.

They are being coached by cycling specialists at Athlete Service in Greys Road car park.

They hope to complete the challenge in two weeks and raise £100,000 for the Fire Fighters Charity. The riders include Dave Etheridge, Oxfordshire’s chief fire officer, who said: “Our journey will take us 14 days, with one rest day, riding approximately 80 miles a day and stopping at nine different fire and rescue services — Scottish, Cumbria, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Devon & Somerset and, finally, Cornwall.

“On the Oxfordshire leg we will involve the Royal Berkshire and Buckingham & Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Services, inviting them to be part of the ride as we travel through their counties. We are already seeing the benefit of the support given by the team at Athlete Service in our training rides which will help ensure the team completes the journey in one piece.”

He added: “The target of £100,000 is the largest sum we have ever tried to raise in a single event and we are hoping everyone will get behind us by sponsoring team members, making donations or pledges and buying raffle tickets.”

Athlete Service has “fitted” each cyclist to their bike, so they are comfortable and effective and helped the riders with their cycling efficiency, including giving tips on how to take care of their bodies both before and during the ride.

Laurence Plant, a partner in the business, said: “It’s such an epic challenge for the firefighters and we’re so grateful for the work they do that we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them. During a bike fit we examine how each cyclist’s body moves and help them adjust their style, position and exertion through the pedals and handlebars for maximum speed and comfort. It’s great to see them improving.”

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