Team cycles from coast to coast for apprenticeships

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Two Brighouse cyclists have completed a mammoth ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise more than £100,000 to help young unemployed people in Calderdale.

Martin Haigh and Dene Townend joined five other cyclists to pedal more than 900 miles from Cornwall to Scotland on a challenge to pay for apprenticeships schemes with local companies.

Martin said: “We all seemed to get stronger as a team as the route progressed. We never had any trouble because we all did enough training and the bikes behaved themselves. Day eight was the hardest because we went to Draiocht summit.”

He said they saw a sign which warned of ice and snow but the team laughed as they approached in the sun. “But as we got to the top and started climbing it was freezing and had started snowing and we couldn’t feel our fingers through our gloves. When we looked the temperature was minus two degrees below freezing.

“We then had another 20 miles to go to our next destination so that was the only time we felt in danger of being exposed to the elements.”

It was also the day they were all dreading because it was the longest. “We did well and managed to encourage each other and the days after seemed quite easy,” he said.

“For me it was one of the best experiences of my life and one thing I realised was that it was only as good as the people around me. We had amazing support from the whole team.”

The team led by Steve Duncan, chief executive of the Community Foundation for Calderdale, has been training for the last year in order to raise money for a worthy cause.

People can still donate by visiting www.cycleforwork.co.uk”