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Cyclists are best of British

Charity cyclists from Bognor Regis could become the Pride of Britain.


The joint founder of one of the charities being backed by the Pink Pub riders said he was considering putting them forward for the annual awards.


The national gongs are presented each November in a glittering ceremony hosted by ITV.


Dan Arnold, who helped to found All Call Signs last year as a peer to peer communications app for veterans and serving military personnel, said: “I think these guys are deserving of a Pride of Britain award. I hope if they are nominated that the people of Bognor Regis back them.”


The charity was set up after the loss of former Bognor Regis soldier Danny Johnson last year.


Dan spoke at the presentation event where a £132,059.30 cheque was handed over to All Calls Signs and Last Night A DJ Saved My Life. The celebration last Saturday at the Pink Pub, or The Royal Oak, in North Bersted, was enjoyed by hundreds of supporters.


He said the event summed up the achievement of the 26 cyclists who rode to Pegasus Bridge in northern France for D-Day 75 last month.


“I can’t stress enough how amazing the people of Bognor Regis have been to All Call Signs,” he said. “I don’t know how many other communities would have given as much as the Pink Pub riders have. They are just brilliant.”


The cyclists left the pub on June 3 dressed in Home Guard uniforms from the Second World War riding wartime bicycles.


They cycled 141 miles to Portsmouth and from Cherbourg along the D-Day beaches in Normandy to Pegasus Bridge near Caen.


They arrived on the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6. Their ages ranged from 30 to 55.


One of them, Richard Scopes, 47, said: “I can’t believe how much we have raised. We were unsure when we started if we would attract as much attention as we did on our first ride five years ago.


“But, I would say, we gained even more support. When we rode up here from Butlin’s people were tooting and waving at us and leaning out of windows to see us.”


Even more funds are due to be donated. Butlin’s is giving up its gate receipts on a day this month to provide another boost. The online page for donations is open until December 31. The proceeds will be split 90 per cent share for All Call Signs and the rest to Last Night A DJ Saved My Life to support children in crisis.


“It’s also nice for All Call Signs. Being such a new entity, it’s nice to give them a boost. They can carry out their five-year plan in 18 months,” said Richard.


He said the ride was a challenge because of frequent breakdowns with the bikes. “The ride was not the hard part but it was difficult having to constantly stop because of the cycles,” he said.


A third ride could be possible but it would require detailed planning.


“It could happen in a few years’ time but it takes a lot of sorting and three months out of our lives,” he added.


The original ride – to Paris – took place five years ago and raised £125,000.

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