Tour de France inspired team of firefighters take on bike trek

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A team of firefighters from Todmorden have completed a gruelling 650-mile bike ride to raise money for charity.

The team left Todmorden last Tuesday morning and took in the sights of France, Belgium and Holland before arrving at Todmorden’s twin town of Bramsche, Germany, 50 hours later.

Watch commander for Todmorden Carl Fielden, said: “The Tour De France’s arrival in the area gave us the idea to do the ride, as well as the fact that firefighters from Todmorden did a similar thing in the past.

“It something that we’ve all talked about for a while, we all ride bikes anyway and we all enjoy doing it.”

Despite a broken bike in Buxton, rainy weather for the duration of the trip and a puncture just 100 metres before they reached their destination, the team had a fantastic time and were greeted with a hero’s welcome when they reached Bramsche.

Carl added: “We had an amazing welcome, we were escorted into the town and a lot of people came out to see us.

“We attended a special school assembly where we had a question and answer session with the children and they sung us songs they had learnt in English.”

The team stayed in Bramsche for a day and enjoyed a meeting with the town’s mayor and local dignitaries, took in the sights of the town and spent time with the local fire service before retiring to their lodge accomodation for a well-earned rest.

Carl said: “I think it was a difficult cycle ride due to the weather, but it was made fantastic by the hospitality in Bramsche and it was an amazing experience.”

The team have smashed their fundraising target of £3,000 and the money raised will be donated to Yorkshire Air Amublance, the Fire Fighters Charity and some money will also be put towards providing a new classroom facility for a school overseas.

Their fundraising efforts don’t stop there and a comedy night on July 26 is expected to push the figure up further.

The night will be held at Todmorden Cricket Club and will feature comedians Pete Emmett and Mick Monroe, as well as Pie and Peas and a disco. Tickets cost £15 and are available from Todmorden Fire Station or by calling 01706 813541.