CHARITY bikers braved the elements as they pulled on their cycling shorts and took to the saddle for a mammoth challenge from Paris back to Uttoxeter – all in the name of charity.
The Talbot Charity Bike Club headed off to France at the weekend in a bid to cycle all the way back to Uttoxeter by Sunday, to raise vital funds for Youth Emotional Support Services (YESS).
It is the third time the team has got on their bikes for charity, getting more adventurous each time – they first travelled to London, then Edinburgh and now Paris.
Andrew Riley, treasurer of the Talbot Charity Bike Club, said ahead of the epic ride that the nerves were setting in and participants were hoping the weather would be on their side.
He told the Advertiser: "I think most of the riders are feeling like me now and are excited but also nervous at the same time.
"The majority of the riders have done nothing like this before – we are very nervous as there is a lot of ground to cover.
"Paris is lovely but the weather is very similar to back home and we have had a bit of rain.
"The weather conditions really do make a big difference to us.
"We have been constantly training for this, although we could not train at the weekend as we did not want anyone to get injured.
"The bikes are in Paris anyway, so that would have made it a bit difficult!
"The lads have been training really hard as it is the only way to complete this – you have got to be prepared for a ride like this.
"It should be a great day when we get home.
"It is usually one of the better days coming home to see all of our friends and family, and to see the majority of the community turn out is an amazing feeling."
Mr Riley, who represents the town on Uttoxeter Town Council and East Staffordshire Borough Council, said the sponsorship money for the challenge had been coming in fast and steady for the charity since they announced this year's quest.
Residents have been donating online, through buying wristbands, a raffle at B&Q, and events in the Steeplechase and Dapple Grey.
The treasurer said: "We have still got money coming in and we would like to thank everyone that has supported us so far, especially for the corporate sponsorship and all of the community events.
"We look forward to seeing everyone when we get home."
More information on the Talbot Charity Bike Club and how to sponsor the event is available at http://thetalbotcharitybikeclub.org.uk