A team of intrepid cyclists are making final preparations ahead of a 105 mile ride across Lancashire – all to raise money for local charities.
The team of cyclists – all colleagues at Leyland Trucks and Lancashire DAF – are taking part in the cycling extravaganza in a bid to raise £10,000 for Leyland Trucks’ Helping Hand charity, which supports good causes in the region.
The Factory to Forecourt event will start at the Leyland Trucks facility in Leyland early in the morning on Saturday 14th July, then, a mere 105 miles later, the team will be welcomed home from their epic journey at the Lancashire DAF dealership, in Preston.
The route will take the team and their two-vehicle support crew in a huge circle of North Lancashire, from Leyland to Preston, east to Settle, across to Lancaster and back to Preston, where the mayor of South Ribble, Councillor John Rainsbury will greet them.
The 17-strong cycling team are all amateurs inspired to take up the cross-county challenge by the work of Helping Hand, the Leyland Trucks employee charity, which will donate all money raised to the Rosemere Cancer Centre, Cancer Help Preston and The Christie Cancer Centre.
The riders themselves range in ability and role, and include Jim Henderson, former British hill-climb champion and three members of the senior management team taking part, including Operations Director at Leyland Trucks, Peter Jukes, and Lancashire DAF MD Paul Entwistle.
While many of the Leyland Trucks team have taken on smaller cycle challenges before – last year riding coast to coast 84-miles from Bowness in Cumbria, to Wall’s End, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, this is the furthest challenge yet, and the first in partnership with Lancashire DAF, who will send a DAF demonstration truck to see them home along the final mile.
Peter Jukes, Operations Director at Leyland Trucks, said he was cautiously optimistic about the event: “We are obviously all getting nervous, but we have certainly all put the training hours in, and can’t wait to get going.”
Paul Entwistle, MD of Lancashire DAF said: “We are happy to be supporting Leyland Trucks Helping Hand charity and the good work they do in the local community”.
The ride is being encouraged as part of the company’s Leyland Life Healthy Workforce programme, staff have been encouraged to take on a physical challenge, to kick start a healthy lifestyle while raising money for good causes.
The team has worked with business partners to sponsor their team shirts, or sponsor the food and drink at the finish, with companies including Atlas Copco, Handley James Consulting and Lancashire DAF, Specsavers, Goodyear, PPS Commercials Limited, Slater Safety, TCC Life, Fylde Executive Cars, Actemium, Made Profiles, KP Industries & TCI all signing up to help raise money.
Helping Hand chairman Matt Kersey, and support crew for the day, “Last year Helping Hand raised a staggering £50,000 for charity, which is amazing. This year, we want to raise even more, and this event is one of the major fundraisers in our plan.
He added, “The three cancer charities we have chosen all do so much for our community, and with a large workforce, sadly many lives of our employees have been effected by the disease, and many helped by these amazing charities. This is our way of giving something back.”