UTTOXETER cyclists are in full training mode as they prepare for a 300 mile ride from Edinburgh – all in the name of charity.
The 15 cyclists from The Talbot Charity Bike Club are now training on an almost daily basis to ensure they are at optimum fitness for the ride from Edinburgh to Uttoxeter on September 4.
The club is hoping to raise £6,000 for the Art and Soul Friendship Group, which supports people with mental health difficulties in and around Uttoxeter.
In the lead up to the big day, the team has also been busy liaising with sponsors including Uttoxeter Taxi's, who will be taking all of the riders free of charge to East Midlands Airport where they will fly courtesy of Princess Motor Yachts.
The group has also had to find sponsors to pay for fuel, spare parts, shirts, insurance and accommodation.
The club said that local businesses had been a great support offering everything from cash and raffle prizes to a safety vehicle which will be driven up by support driver Ryan Dyche with all of the cycles and equipment.
The ride was so successful last year when the group rode from London to Uttoxeter that the club raised around £5,000 for The Inside Outers Youth Group.
This success has helped them secure a £4,000 donation from a national company and sponsorship by Nivea Men.
Councillor Andrew Riley, a member of the bike club and trustee of the charity, said: "I am overwhelmed by the amount of local businesses that are supporting us this year, and of course the sponsorship from Nivea Men.
“It feels like the whole community is behind us before we've even started the ride this year.
“We'd like to say thank you to each and every one of them."
The cyclist's will be arriving back into Uttoxeter on Sunday, September 8 at 1.30pm.
Darren Staniforth, of the bike club said: "It was an amazing feeling when we got back to Uttoxeter last year, so many people had come to welcome us home, we would like even more this year, a real community event.”
In conjunction with Uttoxeter Knights, a variety of entertainment and stalls will be in the Market Place from noon on the day of the riders return.
The club will also be holding a float and a stall at Lark in the Park on Saturday to raise more awareness of the event.
Further information on Art and Soul is available at www.artandsoulfriendshipgroup.com