Ilford firefighter trio complete England border cycle after more than 10 years
- Credit: Ally Warnock
Three Ilford firefighters have completed a decade-long endeavour to cycle around the perimeter of England.
Once or twice a year since 2010, Ally Warnock, Jim Jobson and Casey Moroney have taken to their bikes to ride up a part of the English border – each time starting exactly where they finished the last one.
Since leaving Ilford Fire Station – where they work as part of Ilford Blue Watch – the trio have cycled through East Anglia, all the way up to Berwick-Upon-Tweed at the Scottish border.
They then followed the coast past Liverpool and travelled along the Welsh border and around Devon and Cornwall, before returning via the south Coast.
On October 4, they started their tenth and final leg from Hastings, arriving back into Ilford Fire Station two days later to complete the 2,500-mile epic.
Ally said they chose to do the challenge in stages because of the difficulty of getting leave from work.
“it's a nice feeling to have finally done it,” he said.
He said that the huge scale of the journey had not dawned on the group until a few days after they finished.
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“It's only looking back thinking blimey that’s a heck of a long way,” he said.
Ally said the group were “just normal men on bikes – no lycra”, and noted that Casey had completed the journey on his old 1990s mountain bike.
The group have faced some tough challenges along the way, Ally said.
As they rode through the Scottish Borders across the Lake District, they faced 60mph headwinds and sleet, despite having chosen to do the ride in April.
“Somehow we manage to pick the worst week’s weather,” he said.
Throughout their travels they have been raising money for charitable causes, including the Firefighter’s Charity and King George Hospital’s paediatric A&E.
They also raise money for individual children locally who need some kind of support.
Ally said of the group’s charitable endeavours: “We’ll definitely keep it up."
They have yet to decide on what to do for their next charity challenge, but Ally said he was sure they would be out on their bikes again.