Fancy riding from Berlin to Brussels? A team of cyclists from Staffordshire Police are on the lookout for cyclists to join them on an annual cycling challenge that not only promises adventure, but also raises vital funds for Caudwell Children, the Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support for disabled children.
The Bobbies on Bikes for Kids Cycling Club (BOB4K) is looking for members of the public to sign up for their Berlin to Brussels bike ride, which will take place from Saturday 7th - Friday 13th September, 2019.
The challenge will see cyclists turning pedal power into pounds as they ride 500 miles across northern Germany, before finishing their challenge in the Belgium capital Brussels, famous for its cuisine, gastronomy and being home to the European Parliament.
Former police officer Chris Durham, aged 49, from Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, completed BOB4k's cycling challenge last year and, despite finding it extremely difficult, he has signed up to ride once again in 2019.
"I was struck by a van whilst out cycling in 2013 and as a result of my injuries I had to retire from the police force," he explained. "After a long convalescence, and several setbacks, I felt the time was right to push my rehabilitation, so I signed up for BOB4K's 500 mile cycle challenge across Normandy last year.
"The fact that I completed the ride, after such life changing injuries, was fantastic and it was also extremely important in my recovery.
"If I can do it, in my condition, then there will be plenty of cyclists out there who can complete the challenge, so I'd urge them to join me and the rest of the team in what will be an unbelievable experience."
Chris says that it's not only a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, have fun, and keep fit, but is also a wonderful way to raise funds for disabled children. He said: "Caudwell Children provide specialist equipment, in-home and in-hospital support, a range of therapies and treatments, exciting activity days, and sports equipment to disabled children across the UK.
"So even on the most difficult of days, when my injuries were causing me a great deal of pain, the knowledge that I was raising vital funds for disabled children really drove me on."
Sergeant Steve Marsh, organiser and one of the participants on the challenge, says you don't have to be an experienced cyclist to get involved. As he explained: "This will be the sixth annual cycling challenge that the BOB4K team has undertaken and each one has involved experienced riders and novices.
"We ensure that those with the most experience mentor cyclists who haven't done anything like this before. By doing this we ensure that everyone makes it to the end of the challenge.
"The camaraderie over the five days of cycling is amazing and the satisfaction of crossing the finishing line, having raised up to £20,000 for Caudwell Children, is overwhelming."
To date the BOB4K team has raised over £121,000 for Caudwell Children.
"We're looking for all types of riders, be it from members of the public or other emergency services," concluded Steve. "It will be an amazing, life changing experience and one that you'll never forget."
Lily Smith, senior events and challenge coordinator at Caudwell Children, is delighted by the BOB4K's continued support. "The BOB4K team are real life heroes putting their bodies on the line, and giving up their time, to raise funds for the disabled children that we support," she explained.
"Their lung busting efforts have been instrumental in helping us to help over 35,000 children with over 650 medical conditions. They are a truly inspirational group."
For further details and to sign up to take part, call Lily on 01782 433756 or email: [email protected]