The 2010 riders and support team are pictured above.
30 March 2010
A firefighter is aiming to raise hundreds of pounds for charity by restaging a cycle marathon that his late father was involved in exactly 30 years ago.
On 27 June 1980, Watch Manager Andy Maloney’s father John and three friends - Pat Meade, Jim O'Connor and Pat Martin – began a 250-mile bike ride from Aylesbury to Arnhem in Holland. They chose Arnhem as the destination as it was hosting the Paralympic Games that year.
The intrepid cyclists raised £1,500 in sponsorship, which they split between the Paralympic Village in Stoke Mandeville and Paratravel, a scheme running holidays for disabled children.
Andy’s team, which is due to set off from Aylesbury on 26 June, will have seven members. They include his son John, 17, and Pat Martin, one of the riders from the 1980 trip. Pat Meade from the 1980 trip is not riding but will be helping out with the organisation.
Andy said: “My aim is to follow the same route that my father did, where it still exists. This will take us from Aylesbury to Bishops Stortford, Harwich, Hook of Holland, Rotterdam and finally on to Arnhem.
“We are hoping to present a letter and a gift from the Mayor of Aylesbury to the Burgermeister in Holland as they did in 1980, and to raise £1,500 for the British Paralympic Association.
“We are all non-bikers, just as the original four were, so cycling 50 to 70 miles a day is going to be quite a challenge.
"We are more than a quarter of the way to our sponsorship target, but more donations would be gratefully received."
They are arranging to stay in police and fire stations on the way, and are planning to arrive in Arnhem on 1 July and return on 4 July.
They will be followed in a support vehicle by Firefighter Chris Cook from Aylesbury.
The riders are:
Andy Maloney, son of 1980 rider John.
Pat Martin, original rider from 1980
John Maloney, Andy’s son and 1980 rider John’s grandson
Darren Pennery, Andy’s brother-in-law
Michael Pennery, Andy’s nephew
Mike Bell, a long-time friend of the Maloney family
Andy, who is based at Gerrards Cross fire Station, has set up a page on the JustGiving website for online donations at www.justgiving.com/aylesburytoarnhem2010
The British Paralympic Association is responsible for ensuring Britain's top disabled athletes are best prepared to produce medal-winning performances at the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. With London 2012 approaching it has to work harder than ever to keep Britain at the pinnacle of the Paralympic movement and enable British athletes to produce their lifetime’s best performances in front of the home crowds.