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Charities to benefit from 24 hour cycling challenge

Date: 7th August, 2017

An epic 24 hour cycling challenge is happening this weekend to raise money for the Fire Fighters Charity and the Epilepsy Society.

Some 35 cyclists will be setting off from Devizes fire station at noon on Friday 11 August, with the aim of visiting all 24 of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s fire stations within Wiltshire and Swindon in just one day.

The cyclists are a mix of fire service personnel and members of Devizes Town Cycling Club, and over £1,000 has been pledged already to the charity pot.

This is the third time that the challenge has been held – in 2012, only one cyclist managed to complete the whole route due to appalling weather while, in 2015, seven cyclists completed the full 195 miles.

The route will be: Devizes, Melksham, Corsham, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster, Mere, Tisbury, Wilton, Salisbury, Amesbury, Ludgershall, Pewsey, Marlborough, Ramsbury, Stratton, Swindon, Westlea, Royal Wootton Bassett, Cricklade, Malmesbury, Chippenham, Calne and back to Devizes by noon on Saturday 12 August.

Mike Cleaver, a retained firefighter in Devizes, has organised the event, and the donations to the Epilepsy Society are as a result of the help he and his family have received from the charity since daughter Poppy was diagnosed with the condition.

He said: “The last challenge in 2015 was mostly fire service personnel; this time, we have partnered up with Devizes Town Cycling Club and, as a result, we have a lot more people tackling the full route. Although the distance isn’t necessarily an issue for the really keen cyclists, the duration and the night riding is the real challenge. I’m grateful to everyone who has supported us so far, either by offering help or sponsoring us – hopefully we will get a lot more money in by the time we finish!”

Tim Pigott, from Devizes Town Cycling Club, said: “When we heard about the 24 hour challenge, it sounded like an amazing opportunity to test ourselves and really make a difference to two great charities. All those taking part are really looking forward to it, even if there is a little bit of apprehension as well! As it’s the third time the event has run, we know that it’s achievable and we all want to make it the best one yet.”

He added: “As a thriving local cycling club, we’re really keen to play our part in the local community and we’re also providing support to this event, donating to assist in the arrangements and providing some welcome practical help from sponsors including Finely Tuned Ride in Urchfont.”

To support the cyclists in their challenge, you can donate on-line at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/dwfirewithdevizestowncyclingclub

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