Bus team turns to pedal power

WHEELIE GOOD Kevin Briscoe, Phil Kilgariff, Kevin Pyne and Derek Gibson with Tracey Gibson of Hollybank Trust.
WHEELIE GOOD Kevin Briscoe, Phil Kilgariff, Kevin Pyne and Derek Gibson with Tracey Gibson of Hollybank Trust.

Five lycra-clad bus engineers braved a heatwave on a charity ride to Blackpool – and back for charity.

Despite scorching 30 degree heat, the cyclists reached their seaside destination from Manchester by lunchtime – but then the hard work began.

The cycling-mad team, who pedalled 120 miles in total for the challenge, all work at Heckmondwike Arriva bus depot, apart from Phil Kigariff who works in the Dewsbury Arriva bus depot.

Workshop manager Derek Gibson admitted it was “gruelling”.

He said: “It was painful and very hard. The morning was good and we arrived at the South Shore in Blackpool by lunchtime.

“But on the way back it was horrendous in 30 degree heat.

“We had no choice though because we hadn’t booked return transport. If I had been a horse, I would have been put down!”

The engineers started and finished the event at Old Trafford and stopped for 45 minutes by the sea before setting off back again.

And incredibly Derek and his fellow team members Kevin Pyne, Kevin Briscoe, Andrew Noble, Phil Kilgariff were back at work the following day.

Derek said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to all our colleagues who sponsored us and helped us raise more than £1,000 – including the Unite Union local branch who put in a big donation.”

The £1,000 raised has now been presented to the Hollybank Trust in Mirfield. The spirited engineers are now seeking their next challenge.

Tracey Gibson, Holly Bank’s corporate support officer, said: “We thought that cycling 120 miles in a day was a bit much but when we realised it was quite so hot, we were amazed that they completed the challenge.

“We are delighted with their strenuous efforts and thank everyone for supporting us.

“This will go towards buying our new minibus to take our children and adults out on more trips.”

The team is still collecting sponsorship money.

Anyone wanting to donate can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/derekgibson.

To find out more about the work of Hollybank Trust, which cares for, educates and supports children and adults with profound and complex disabilities, please go to www.hollybanktrust.com or follow us on facebook.