Louth Rotarians complete 500-mile ride to Ypres

Alan Curtis, Paul Firth, David Broadmeadow and Joe Burns.
Alan Curtis, Paul Firth, David Broadmeadow and Joe Burns.

It’s not too late to sponsor the four riders from Louth Rotary who have just completed a 500-mile cycle challenge across France, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium.

Alan Curtis, Paul Firth, David Broadmeadow and Joe Burns are raising money for Parkinsons UK, Sue Ryder Hospices, Operation Smile, and a host of local charities in our area.

Alan Curtis, Paul Firth, David Broadmeadow and Joe Burns.

Alan Curtis, Paul Firth, David Broadmeadow and Joe Burns.

With 7am starts in the dark, 7pm finishes at sunset, and three days of tough riding in 30-degree heat, the team took part in the Flanders Challenge 2019, along with 27 other teams from the UK.

Each day they rode approximately 170 miles and during the challenge they climbed just over 30,000 feet of hills - 1,000 feet more than Everest!

There were various logistical challenges including lost equipment, route changes, and delays due to farm animals in the road - but despite everything, the team finished in the top third of 28 teams on the final day, just minutes before the heavens opened and the rain came down!

The final day’s route was an emotional riding tour of the World War I battlefields in Flanders, to take in the sights of Passendale, Tyne Cot, Canada Gate and Hill 60, before finishing in the shadow of the Menin Gate in Ypres.The four riders were met by friends and colleagues who had travelled from Louth to Ypres by train specially to greet them.

The sunset ceremony and ‘Last Post’ at the Menin Gate were a fitting end to the ride. This has taken place at 8pm every day since 1928 at the famous memorial which marks over 54,000 of those who died in the war and who have no known grave.

The team is already thinking about next year’s ride and how they can encourage other teams to take part.

To sponsor the team, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/LouthRotaryChainGang

For further details, email louthrotary@gmail.com.