The ‘magnificent seven’ have passed the halfway point in their mammoth ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Steve Duncan, the chief executive of the Community Foundation for Calderdale, and six supporters are pedalling more than 900 miles from Cornwall to Scotland on a challenge to pay for apprenticeships schemes with local companies.
The team are on day eight, one of the toughest rides of their ten day cycle, from Cumbernauld to Newtonmore - a total of 120.1 miles.
They have already completed more than 630 miles including a cavalcade through Calderdale where they diverted away from the traditional LEJOG route to finish at the Eureka! Children’s Museum in Halifax.
The cyclists, Steve, Martin Haigh, Dene Townend, Fred Lyn, Helen Rossi, Keith Midgley and Roger Moore, arrived in Walsden near Todmorden where their route was lined with school children who made St George’s flags.
They were joined by Halifax Town Crier Les Cutts on a tandem and the mayor of Calderdale John Hardy on an electric bike.
The cavalcade travelled through Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and ended up in Halifax where they was a variety of family friendly activities including a climbing wall.
Taking part in the celebration was riders from Ravenscliffe High School, Skircoat Green, Halifax, on specially adapted bikes and stunt riders from C I Adventures.
You can see them all in action on our video at www.halifaxcourier.co.uk along with up to date information about how they are getting on.
The group has raised over £100,000 to young unemployed people in Calderdale.
Steve said the ride was going well. “The weather has been fantastic and although we have had a few issues we are all in tack.
“We had 12 schools lining the streets on Tuesday. It was brilliant so thank you. It has been a fantastic experience and it continues tomorrow. I would like to thank everyone who supported us through Twitter, Facebook and the support team. We have had some of the apprentices cycling with us and that is what it is all about, young people.”
Martin agreed. “We have been blessed because the weather has been wonderful. Day one and two were really tough climbs but day three was flat so it made a nice change. In comparison it took us 11 hours to do the second day and the next leg on Sunday was only seven hours to do the same mileage. Tuesday was really interesting because we knew we had plenty of time. We set off early and set ourselves a steady pace to make sure we arrived on time. Once we arrived in Walsden the pace slowed which was fantastic.
“Today is one of our toughest challenges but we have bonded as a team and have become friends who help each other in a time of need.”
Councillor Hardy joined the team on the cavalcade and described the team as the ‘magnificent seven’. “It was exhilarating. I am tremendously proud of being involved and these people are amazing. What they are doing and why they are doing it and what they are achieving is fantastic.
“I am proud that I chose the foundation as my charity of the year.”
Dr Ingrid Roscoe, Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, said: “Nowhere but Calderdale would have an initiative like this. It is a brilliant idea to address the business of unemployment and get these 27 apprenticeships going.”
People can still donate. Visit www.cycleforwork.co.uk for more.