Shropshire’s new Chief Fire Officer will visit each of the county’s 23 fire stations…on his bike.
It’s not the usual approach for a new boss to meet staff working in the far flung corners of the county or another cost cutting exercise.
But the pedal powered tour is all in aid of charity as Rod Hammerton takes to two wheels along with more than 20 firefighting colleagues, support staff and family and friends from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
They will cycle 239 miles over three days while raising funds for The Severn Hospice and the Fire Fighters’ Charity which helps sick and injured firefighters and their families.
One of the event organiser’s Katy Lowe, who works in fire control, came up with the idea to involve all the county’s fire stations spread across Shropshire.
“It will be a real challenge. They will have to push themselves to get around all the stations in hilly Shropshire,” said Katy, who is appealing for help from the public to donate to the charities or volunteer for a support role.
Fire Chief Rod Hammerton said: “It will be a challenge and I am not sure I am looking forward to it. But I am sure the good company and beautiful scenery will carry us all through. My thanks go to the organising team who have spent so much of their own time bringing this all together but I know they were inspired and motivated by doing it for such good causes.”
The tour de Shropshire begins tomorrow (September 22) at 8.30am at Shrewsbury fire HQ as they head for Ludlow for an overnight stop pedaling 67 miles via Church Stretton, Much Wenlock, Bridgnorth, and Cleobury Mortimer.
Primary schoolchildren from Condover School are due to line the route outside their school to cheer and wave the cyclists as they pass by at about 9.30am tomorrow. (Thursday)
Day two will be a gruelling 97 miles to Whitchurch fire station via Craven Arms, Clun, Bishops Castle, Minsterley, Baschurch, Oswestry, Ellesmere, Wem and Prees.
The final day sees bikers cycle through Market Drayton, Hodnet, Newport, Albrighton, Tweedale, Telford and Wellington finally arriving back at Shrewsbury fire station – 239 miles later.
Donations can be made on the internet http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Mainpage
or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about supporting the cyclists at a local fire station.
Local event sponsors include massage therapist Zoe Foster, from Ludlow, and sports therapist Ryan Taylor who will provide free sports massages at the end of the first two days in Ludlow and Whitchurch. Pearce Cycles are providing puncture repair kits for the support vehicle. Plush Hill Cycles has donated health drinks, the Park Fitness Company has given outdoor fitness sessions and Tesco has contributed towards refreshments for riders.