Association Vice President Paul Griffiths is raising money for National Police Memorial Day by cycling to every police HQ in England and Wales.
Covering more than 2200 miles, Paul will be cycling three to four days per month and is inviting members and other colleagues and staff to join him along the route.
His aim is to raise £1200 for and with just two sections of the journey completed he is already more than a quarter of the way to his target: you can read more on his blog below!
Day 4 (13/02) – North Wales to Cheshire and onto GMP
I was very grateful to retired North Wales Police friends Mark and Eleri putting me up night before and getting my day started with a hearty breakfast – I was to need it!
I was joined by Steve Williams and John Hanson (NWP) and Martin, Andy, Giles and Martin of the Cheshire Constabulary Peloton team. Good to see DCC Gareth Pritchard who waved us off at 0830 as we headed down to the sea front. We cycled along the front for quite a while before a ‘path closed’ sign forced us to follow the road to England. Despite a challenging headwind, spirits were high when we arrived at our café stop at Queensferry. Steve and John saw me to the border and handed me over to continue with the Cheshire Peloton. We were now facing a very strong and constant easterly wind.
Whilst the view from the back wasn’t the best, the Peloton completely protected me from the elements and selflessly helped me along the route. There was clearly some camaraderie going on in this group – jeering, shouting and clapping when one of the four took the lead, but I appreciated the efforts of ‘Take It Easy Tommy’ even if he was ridiculed by the rest. Through a congested Chester, we took the main route to Cheshire HQ. On this section they introduced me to the gruelling Kelsall hill – I felt faint whilst Martin chatted away next to me to distract the pain. We finally arrived at Cheshire HQ to be greeted by Chief Constable Simon Byrne and our own National Secretary, Tim Jackson. I was really grateful for the tremendous efforts of the Cheshire Four after hours of cycling into very difficult easterly winds. After a pasta lunch, I was alone and back in the saddle.
The route to Manchester was countryside followed by a long route along the canals. The flat was protected from any wind, the weather was fine, and despite the miles under the belt, I was really enjoying the ride. The canal route took me past Old Trafford – so I knew I was close. But the last five miles was decidedly less pleasant – city centre, dark, rush hour – which even forced me to navigate one particular junction on foot! I finally arrived at GMP HQ to be greeted by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, Chief Superintendent Neil Evans from our NEC (pictured above) and a big and wonderful mug of tea.
Today in numbers:
Day 5 (14/02) – GMP to Merseyside and onto Lancashire
Following yesterday’s experience of city centre cycling, I decided on a 0600 start and with lights on started to navigate my way through Manchester. It was far easier at this time than the night before. The route took me for miles along the A580 East Lancashire Road – but there was very good cycle path adjacent to it. Although a miscalculated kerb at one point meant I found myself flat on my back! A quick dusting down and no damage caused to bike or body, I got on my way. As I got closer to Liverpool, the cycle path deteriorated and I was forced to ride the A roads. These took me past Goodison Park and finally through the centre of the city to Merseyside Headquarters.
It was great to see ACC Nikki Holland, Chief Supt Ngaire Waine and others. One of our members, who shall remain nameless, asked me “have you bonked yet?”….. I paused for a second to wonder where this conversation was going… he outlined that ‘bonked’ is cycling slang for ‘exhaustion’. With some relief, conversation then continued quite normally! It was also a pleasure to be joined by Irene Curtis, former President of PSAEW, and her husband Tony. After a coffee and chat, we set off from Merseyside Headquarters.
Keen to ride with two such experienced cyclists, I travelled about the grand sum of three metres before Tony told me to stop. My back tyre was flat! Like a Formula 1 Pit Stop Team, Irene and Tony fully changed it, teaching me what to do during the process. If ever I was to have a flat tyre, this was the moment. We cycled through the city centre and before long were on the main road to Preston. Irene offered to take me on a few detours to see the countryside – but I was only in the mood for ‘Route 1 – shortest route possible’. They both guided me in, arriving at Lancashire Constabulary HQ to be greeted with a cup of tea and big smiles from Sue Clarke (Lancs Supers) and Rachel Baines (Lancs Fed Chair). It was great to finish and apart from the tiredness, saddle soreness and an aching left ankle, I had survived the second phase!
Today in numbers:
Total miles – 367
Total time cycling – 35 hours
National Police Memorial Day will be held in Cardiff on Sunday 24th September 2017 in memory of fallen officers.
Paul has so far raised £355 and you can donate to his cause at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulGriffithsPSAEW
You can follow his journey on Twitter @griffindares and keep checking the website for more blogs as his journey continues.
The road ahead…
Paul will be in touch with Branch Chairs and Secretaries before each section.
Day 6 (10/3) – Lancashire to Cumbria Police
Day 7 (11/03) – Cumbria Police to Northumbria Police
Day 8 (12/3) – Northumbria Police to Durham Police and onto to Cleveland Police
Day 9 (13/3) – Cleveland Police to North Yorkshire Police
Day 10 (6/4) – North Yorkshire Police to West Yorkshire Police
Day 11 (7/4) – West Yorkshire Police to South Yorkshire Police
Day 12 (8/4) – South Yorkshire Police to Humberside Police
Day 13 (22/5) – Humberside Police to Lincolnshire Police
Day 14 (23/5) – Lincolnshire Police to Nottinghamshire Police and then Derbyshire Constabulary
Day 15 (2/6) – Derbyshire Constabulary to Staffordshire Police and West Midlands Police
Day 16 (3/6) – West Midlands Police to West Mercia Police
Day 17 (22/6) – West Mercia to Warwickshire Police and Leicestershire Police
Day 18 (23/6) –Leicestershire Police to Northamptonshire Police to Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Day 19 (24/6) – Cambridgeshire Constabulary to Norfolk Constabulary
Day 20 (25/6) – Norfolk Constabulary to Suffolk Constabulary
Day 21 (26/6) – Suffolk Constabulary to Essex Police
Day 22 (13/7) – Essex Police to Hertfordshire Constabulary to Bedfordshire Police
Day 23 (14/7) – Bedfordshire Police to Thames Valley Police to Civil Nuclear Constabulary
Day 24 (15/7) – Civil Nuclear Constabulary to London
Day 25 (31/7) – London: British Transport Police, Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police
Day 26 (1/8) – London to Kent Police to Sussex Police
Day 27 (16/8) – Sussex Police to Surrey Police to Hampshire Constabulary
Day 28 (17/8) – Hampshire Constabulary to Wiltshire Police
Day 29 (25/8) – Wiltshire Police to Dorset Police
Day 30 (26/8) – Dorset Police to Devon and Cornwall Police
Day 31 (8/9) – Devon and Cornwall Police to Avon and Somerset Police
Day 32 (15/9) – Avon and Somerset Police to Gloucestershire Constabulary
Day 33 (16/9) – Gloucestershire Constabulary to Gwent Police
Day 34 (23/9) – Gwent Police to Cardiff
Paul is also working on the logistics to reach the Isle of Man.