Fundraising firefighters try out their new cycle kit

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Oxfordshire firefighters have taken delivery of a special kit, ready for their sponsored cycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

On May 13, a team of 18 cyclists from Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service, with a support team of four, will set off on the 1,006 mile journey, in a bid to help raise £100,000 for the Fire Fighters Charity.

The lycra cycling outfits have been designed by team member Clive Durbin, a former graphic designer, with input from other team members and made by a company specialising in cycling wear.

Clive said: “The new kit mirrors the protective clothing the fire service now uses.

“We wanted the outfits to represent us as firefighters rather than do the trip in ordinary cycling clothing. The kit also includes the reflective bands we have on the firefighting clothes we wear at incidents, which are a good safety measure, making us more visible when we are riding.”

Leading the pack will be Chief Fire Officer Dave Etheridge, who is personally undertaking the ‘top to bottom’ tour as a ‘Chiefs Challenge’.

He said: “The target of £100,000 is the largest sum we have ever tried to raise in a single event and we are hoping everyone will get behind us by sponsoring team members, making donations, pledges and buying raffle tickets.”

The journey will take the team 14 days, riding about 80 miles a day and stopping at eight Fire and Rescue Services. They are inviting Royal Berkshire and Buckingham & Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Services to be part of the ride as they travel through their counties.

The fundraisers, all of whom are enthusiastic cyclists, range in age from early 20s to 63.

To sponsor them, see virginmoneygiving.com/team/jogle2016