Gloomy weather didn’t dampen the spirits of wounded serviceman and veterans as they passed the historical halfway point on a long-distance cycle ride from Edinburgh to London in a bid to raise £1 million for charity.
The war veterans and personnel from Help for Heroes’ operated northern centre cycled their way into Wetherby on Thursday lunchtime , stopping off at The Red Lion pub for lunch on their 423-mile route to raise cash for the Help for Heroes’ charity which gives support and training to serving and ex-service members of the Armed Forces.
The group of 15 men, four of them on hand bikes and one on an incumbent, were joined by together with several support riders and a back up team on their six-day challenge.
Starting at Catterick Garrison on Thursday morning on Yorkshire Leg of the route, the group arrived at Wetherby- the longest of four stops, ahead of schedule.
Speaking to the News as the group stopped, veteran Gareth Golightly, 31, a former private with the Royal Logistic Corps, who lost his leg in a car accident while on military duty in the UK before being deployed to Iraq, said: “We have done a lot of training, most of which has been in the Yorkshire Dales over the last nine weeks and it has gone really really well.
“Because of my leg, a lot of my power and strength has to come through my arms and shoulders.
“I was medically discharged from the Army in 2004 and this my way of showing my support and giving something back.”
Wetherby resident Dulcie Beveridge, who came to see the servicemen on their journey, along with sister Mary Taylor, said:
“We are here to show our support to the heroes, because they really are heroes to all of us.
“My grandson served in Afghanistan and I have come here when we heard about it on the radio as I wanted to show my support.”
The group, who cycled an average of 180 miles a day, met with other riders who had rode from all over the UK at Blackhealth, London on Sunday in the biggest cycling demonstration for wounded soldiers which has ever taken place.
All money raised by the Catterick team’s Hero Ride will go to Phoenix House Recovery Centre – one of four specialist centres in the UK, run by Help for Heroes, which provide support, education, vocational training, welfare and adventure training to residents and day visitors.
For more information or to donate visit ww.helpforheroes.org.uk/get-involved/challenge-events/hero-ride/