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Mark Cavendish Leads Wounded Heroes Hoping to Raise £1,000,000 at H4H Hero Ride 2014

by Nick Gregory

GB Flag

On Sunday 8 June over 1,000 fundraisers and servicemen, women and veterans came together in London following a week of bike rides in a massive demonstration of support to those who have fallen or been injured in conflict. 

Arriving at Blackheath from rides around the UK and Europe, the group - who had completed approximately 160,000 miles, equivalent to six times the circumference of the earth - cycled the final 10 miles into central London led by Mark Cavendish. Making the shape of the iconic Help for Heroes medal around the Cenotaph, the cyclists paused to pay their respects to those who have fallen or been injured while serving our Country. They continued past Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade to celebrate their fundraising efforts throughout the week, with a well-deserved drink and speeches from co-founder of Help for Heroes, Bryn Parry and former Chief of the General Staff, Lord Dannatt. 

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Two rides set off from Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House in Wiltshire over the course of the weekend, as fundraisers and some of the wounded, injured and sick joined together to form 'The Puffing Pedallers' (completing 100 miles in two days). In true Help for Heroes spirit they pedalled through driving rain on Saturday morning, but with the wind behind them made astonishing time to the first water stop and were rewarded with stunning weather from there onwards. 

Local fundraiser Sophie Tetley from Salisbury was part of the Puffing Pedallers and said of her experience, "What an unforgettable weekend, many laughs, many hills, and some inspirational people who made Hero Ride the privilege it was". 

A 100 mile 'Dawn Raid' sportive also set off from Tedworth House on Sunday, as more cyclists made their way into London for the finale - many meeting up with the Puffing Pedallers en route. 

Malcolm Shaw from Salisbury took part in the Dawn Raid for the first time at the weekend and had this to say; "It was an amazing experience to be part of such a big team and the physical side of things wasn't as daunting as I had thought. When you're stuck-in, focused and prepared for it, I think it makes it so much easier. It was the biggest endurance event I have done, six and a half hours pretty much non-stop, averaging 15mph and climbing 3,700ft. It was brilliant!" 

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The money raised during Hero Ride 2014 will be used to support the 10,535 British men and women injured or struck down with sickness during recent conflicts, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Combat Stress, a charity partner of Help for Heroes, estimates that 40,000 Servicemen, women and veterans will suffer from some form of invisible injury over the coming years, and Help for Heroes has pledged to be there for them.  In order to achieve this, the Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds mental wellbeing programme is being launched later on this year. 

For anyone wishing to donate to the Hero Ride, text 'RIDE' to 70900 to donate £5 to Help for Heroes which will help them reach their £1,000,000 target. You will be charged £5 plus your standard network rate. Mobile Text Telephone helpline: 01494 750 500.  

To register interest for future Help for Heroes fundraising events and to receive an exclusive 'early bird' discount on Hero Ride 2015, visit: www.heroride.org.uk





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