I feel like a bit of a fraud sharing my bio on here as I’m only doing one leg of the trip (although may well be talked into a second if my legs still work after 100 miles). My excuse is someone needs to be back in the Service while this lot take in the sights of the UK – but that’s only really because I haven’t got a better excuse.

I cycled everywhere as a kid – school, mates houses, football, nights out. I used to be able to cycle 3 miles to school without touching my handlebars – not going to try that again this time! But this will be the first time I’ve cycled more than about 20 miles so I’m certainly no veteran.

Anyway, I’ll have been in the fire service for nearly 30 years when the ride takes place, the last 10 in Suffolk and 7 as Chief Fire Officer. I’m fortunate to work in a fire service with some incredible people and I’ve got nothing but admiration for the dedication and commitment of everyone taking part, the ride itself is a massive challenge and the organisation that’s going into it, including trying to raise more than £50k for mental health charities is outstanding, and great fun…so please give generously as mental health touches all of us.  

Mark Hardingham (NFCC Chair)

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