Major is biking a 470-mile ‘retreat’

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Cumbernauld man Major Stuart Irvine is gearing to lead a cycle-powered squad of army medics on an epic fundraising “retreat” across Germany.

The novel way of flitting from their current base to Rutland will see them bike across three countries while covering almost 500 miles.

The 20-strong team of doctors, dentists and nurses all serve with 2 Medic al Regiment, and have taken on the challenge as a fitting way of ending their stint at Haig Barracks in Hohne, Germany.

The team are raising money for The British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association (BLESMA) as a key reason for undertaking the challenge, and hope to raise well over the initial £5,000 target through donations.

They’ll hit the road on Monday, June 29, and arrive at their Rutland barracks on July 4, after cycling through the German municipalities of Lubecke and Dukmen.

They will then cycle on to arrive at Arnhem in the Netherlands – a legendary name in British army annals – before going on to Rotterdam, and the ferry crossing to Hull and, finally, home.

Originally from South Carbrain, Major Stuart Irvine, who is Second in Command of the Regiment and a keen cyclist, said: “Cycles are not the obvious mode of transport when you are relocating from one country to another, but we wanted to do something slightly different to mark our arrival in UK.

“We’ve all been squeezing in the training where we can – we even have some of the team on exercise in Kenya until a week before we start.

“We’ve been on many cold winter early morning rides and a lot of weekend rides to get use to the distances and riding together.”

“We all have differing levels of cycling experience. For some of us the start of training was the first time we had seriously been on a bike since we were kids.

“No doubt a few of us will be saddle sore by the end, but we are all looking forward to the ride and settling back in UK.”

Anyone who would like to donate can visit www.justgiving.com/2MedCycle/ or you can text ‘RAMC60 £xx’ (where xx is your donation amount) to 70070.

Stuart said: “BLESMA are a truly tremendous charity doing fantastic work for our injured soldiers.

“We are just happy to be able to give them something back”.