Half a dozen Leeds bar regulars are getting on their bikes in memory of a Yorkshire icon as the Tour de France comes to the city.
Friends Chris Clyburn, Ai Lyn Tan, Chris Dunne, Ives Solo, Dave Walton and Pete Crampton have decided to mark the Grand Depart’s visit to Leeds by taking up a gruelling 510-mile Paris to Leeds cycling challenge that will end in the city days before the Tour sets off on July 5.
The group, who all frequent Pin Bar, in Dock Street, were inspired to take up the mammoth ride by late cancer fighter and fundraiser Jane Tomlinson and aim to raise £10,000 for the charity that bears her name.
Hoping to celebrate the arrival of the world’s most famous cycling race in style, the “mixed bag” of cycling experience is hoping to triumphantly return to Dock Street in time for a Tour-themed street party on July 2.
Hilary Leam, 42, who is helping to organise the ride dubbed ‘Pavé to Cobble’, said: “Jane Tomlinson was renound for beating the odds with real physical challenges and we found her inspirational – plus she’s from Yorkshire.
“Generally having done stuff in the past for charity it really helps you get through the miles knowing how the charities can help people.”
The cyclists, who are based in Harrogate and Leeds and range from a doctor to bank staff and entrepreneurs, will set off from Paris on June 27 with the aim of returning to Leeds on July 2.
Ms Leam said: “The guys are training really seriously. Yorkshire is such a beautiful part of the world to cycle around so it’s massively important that people get out on their bikes and celebrate the fact we are hosting the Grand Depart.”
The team are paying all their own costs and are already planning extra fundraising events and ways to raise money before the ride, including quiz nights at Pin Bar, gaining sponsorship and commissioning special Leeds Brewery beers.
Chris Terry, manager of Pin Bar, is backing the group of punters to succeed and is among the businesses looking to welcome them in a special Dock Street Tour de France street party.
He said: “We are hoping to get the whole community around Dock Street involved in the celebration. Everyone will be welcome to the street party as we showcase our renowned Yorkshire hospitality, bringing family, friends and strangers together.”
To donate to the appeal or for information, visit www.justgiving.com/teams/pavetocobble.