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Public Health employees get on their bikes for charity

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East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Public Health team will take part in a tough 'Cities of Culture' cycling challenge, organised through the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and in association with East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull City Councils.

The trip will take over nine days to finish and will take the staff from Beverley to Ireland and back to Cottingham to promote public health and cycling, whilst providing an opportunity to raise money for charity.

The challenge includes a four day Public Health cycling partnership with Public Health colleagues in South and North Ireland, and two days in Wales. The team will set off from Beverley on 19 May, travelling to Liverpool and across to Ireland via Belfast on the ferry, returning back to Holyhead via Liverpool, over the Humber Bridge into Hull and ending at the Lawns in Cottingham on Sunday, 28 May.

The aim of the challenge is to promote cycling as one of the best ways for people to achieve good health and fitness. Apart from burning away body fat, cycling reduces the chances of heart disease and helps combat diabetes and high blood pressure. The ride is designed to highlight the health benefits of cycling whilst incorporating health promoting events.

The participants, who are volunteering in their spare time, will cover distances of approximately 50-60 miles-plus each day and will raise funds for the local British Heart Foundation.

Public Health colleagues in Northern Ireland have enabled the team to take the Public Health vehicle to Ireland and will be engaging in joint work to promote the benefits of cycling in Derry/Londonderry and Armagh.

Mike McDermott, associate director of Public Health, said: "This is an exciting challenge which myself and Tim Allison, director of Public Health, have mulled over for the past year. "We are really pleased that people will be joining us on route and especially planning to join us for the last day from Thorne and the Humber Bridge to Hull. "Cycling is a fantastic way to get out there and improve your physical ability. We are all recreational cyclists with limited long distance cycling experience, but thanks to regular training we hope to complete the challenge."

Tim Allison, director of Public Health, said: "By eating well and moving more, you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of heart disease. "Through this partnership ride we are showing that it is easy, no matter what age or physical ability, to get on a bike and cycle. "I am extremely pleased that we have true international participation for the cycle challenge this year."