A FIREFIGHTER has reached the half-way point of a gruelling 200-mile static charity bike ride.
Jasper Taylor has now completed two of his four stages while wearing his full firefighters gear and breathing apparatus.
Last week I did one and I realised it was quite a challenge really, in full fire kit.Jasper Taylor
The firefighter of 30 years from Portchester is raising money for the Fire Fighters Charity and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth’s Charity Appeal.
Jasper, who is retiring in October, has been involved with the Fire Fighters Charity throughout his career, ever since his daughter suffered a disability at the age of three.
The 60-year-old said: ‘My daughter was about three and she suffered terribly with illness and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and it was chronic.
‘I spent a lot of my days in the hospital and GP practices and we were just burned out really.
‘What the charity did for us was it allowed us to have some care.
‘It gave me the peace of mind and the support package to work without the stress I was under.’
The static bike sessions are taking place in supermarkets across Portsmouth, as Jasper attempts to ride 50 miles per day on his own.
He added: ‘I think for me I wanted to do something which was “me” really.
‘Obviously I’ve got the support of the firefighters and the Lord Mayor but at the end of the day its down to me.
‘It’s a challenge and it needed to be a challenge.
‘Last week I did one and I realised it was quite a challenge really, in full fire kit.
‘It needs to be a bit more than just riding a bike.’
Ahead of his retirement, Jasper has said that this bike challenge will be his last fundraising event for the charity.
He added: ‘The work of the Fire Fighters Charity is so important. If firefighters get injured or ill or are unable to work, the charity helps to rehabilitate them.
‘To get firefighters through their injury and illness to get back to work, to be fit enough to do the job they are trained to do, for me that is really important.’
The final two stages are taking place on August 30 at Asda Fratton and September 1 at the Tesco store in Fratton.
To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/jasper-taylor.