Chilwell soldiers set for “challenging” 1800 mile charity bike ride

Video: Chetwynd soldiers are ready and raring to go for their bike ride to Gibraltar

Soldiers from Chetwynd barracks in Chilwell are about to embark on a bike ride which will take them from London’s Albert Hall all the way to Gibraltar with the money raised being shared between a number of charities.

The expedition, which should take the cyclists around 13 days is being done on behalf of charities including Cancer Research UK and the Royal British Legion.

Captain Christopher Sharpe is the organiser of the bike ride and the officer in charge, he explained that each of the soldiers taking part had their own motivations for undergoing the challenge.

He said: “We had a meeting and the team suggested the charities that we are going to raise for. One of the guys is just recovering from cancer in the team now, there’s a couple of guys who have unfortunately had to leave and obviously some personal stuff where family and friends from home have suffered.”

A lot of kit will be required over the course of the near-fortnight, which has meant a lot of sleepless night for Capt Sharpe while he’s been planning.

“We’ve got twelve bikes that will fit on the trailer, four tents that the guys will sleep in and then the cooking equipment and then the food itself. We’ve got spares for the bikes so there’s quite a bit of kit we’re taking with us,” he added.

It will be enduring for everyone

For some of the cyclists, this will be something completely new to them. That includes Lance Corporal Michael Christou, who said: ” I am quite new in general to road riding, five or 6 hundred miles or so in the last few months but that’s it. We have been training but it’s difficult. We just do the miles we can get in each week.

L Cpl Christou only arrived back from the Falkland Islands this week and has no opportunity to rest as the team aim to set out on Sunday. Should he struggle, there is a support team on hand to help him which includes Sappa Ben Seaton.

Ben said: “As a member of the support team, I’ll be driving the minibus behind the others while they are on the way down there. We are a busy group so training has been as and when we could manage it. It will be enduring for everyone, myself included.”

Another member of the cycling team, L Cpl Jamie Evans says that the physical challenges will be the biggest obstacle to overcome.

He said: “Stamina, the endurance, making sure we keep ourselves energised and making sure we take on lots of food. In terms of the support team, it’s just a case of ensuring that the transitions are smooth and ensuring that everyone hits their full potential each day.”

The group of soldiers have set themselves a target of £10,000, a sum they believe they are well on their way to but there is still time to donate. They will have collection buckets with them throughout the expedition and you can also donate by text. The number is 70070 and include ‘SVCR66’ and the amount you would like to donate. 


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