Cycling from Camp Bastion to Waterlooville for charity

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A GROUP will be cycling over 4,000 miles on exercise bikes for charity today.

The group are in Waterlooville town centre, at the bandstand, and have 12 exercise bikes ready for people to take on the challenge.

Some of the riders at the event

Some of the riders at the event

They hope to cover 4,442 miles by 9pm - the equivalent of cycling from Camp Bastion to Waterlooville.

The group are raising money for Combat Stress, one of this year’s Mayor’s charities.

Mayor of Havant Councillor Paul Buckley said: ‘I chose Combat Stress because I’m ex-Navy and I was looking for a charity to support that would benefit from the support. I didn’t want to chose one of the big charities and when I read a leaflet about the work Combat Stress does, I found out that it was a small charity but one that is doing a very important job. I have been in stressful situations so I know the importance of their work. I went to visit the charity’s centre in Leatherhead and seeing some of the people there made me realise just how important the charity is.’

Combat Stress helps veterans with psychological wounds, which often lead to depression, phobias, anxiety, relationship problems and, in some cases, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

George ‘Topsy’ Turner runs Innovations Fitness and is ex-Navy himself. He came up with the static bike idea.

George, 41, from Emsworth, said: ‘We do a lot of different things with the council but when the Mayor asked me if I had any ideas to help support his charity, I came up with this. It’s a bit bonkers but it’s definitely worthwhile.’

Lifeguard Ryan Davies was taking part in the challenge.

Ryan, 22, from Hayling Island, said: ‘I go to Topsy’s fitness classes and when I heard about the challenge. I thought it was a good cause. I’m now three hours in and bit saddle sore as I’ve just cycled my first 46 miles of the day.’

Mum and daughter, Cathy and Amy Beresford, from Waterlooville, were also taking part.

Amy, 22, from Waterlooville, said: ‘It is a great charity and even if we can do a little bit then it’s worth it as you feel like you are doing good.’

Leader of Havant Borough Council Cllr Tony Briggs was helping to collect money.

He said: ‘I think it is fantastic. I cycle and if I cycle 20 miles, I’m lucky. To cycle so far for charity is brilliant, over 4,000 miles, I take my hat off to them.’

The group will be at the bandstand in Waterlooville’s town centre until around 9pm tonight.

To sponsor them go to