News Archive

Charity Cycling

by msecadm4921

As reported in the June magazine, Nigel Petrie – Chairman of AD Group and Dedicated Micros – and Peter Vince a solicitor from Sussex, were making a 500-mile, nine-day cycle journey in aid of charity.

The men have completed their journey.

They cycled from Pfetterhouse in Switzerland to cover the 500-mile former Western Front, the World War One battle-line. With the support of the Royal British Legion, the men sought to raise awareness of “the Line” and, under the wheels4freedom project collect the £12,000 required for three electric wheel chairs to transform the lives of war veterans.

Nigel and Peter’s cycle journey to the Belgium coast took them through the Vosges Mountains and the battlefields of Verdun, the Somme and Flanders. This route during The Great War featured an almost continuous line of trenches and barbed wire defences. They met all of their own costs and were riding with no separate backup or support, taking all of the kit they needed on their bikes. AD Group fitted a mobile CCTV system to Nigel’s bike so he could record footage of the journey.

What they say

Nigel Petrie said: “This cycle ride was at least as tough if not tougher than any we had done before. Not only was it physically demanding but given the nature of the places we visited extremely emotional. Travelling over the Vosges Mountains was a real challenge, it wasn’t simply a case of up one side and down the other there were a series of two or three peaks, in one part we climbed 1020 metres in eight kilometres, which is extremely steep. During the journey we also had to contend with strong winds and rain – similar to the weather back in Britain at the time. Of course the real reason for our journey hit home when we travelled through areas such as the battlefield at Verdun. This was particularly poignant as little had changed in terms of the landscape since the Great War, with evidence of the scars of battle such as bomb craters still visible in many places. We sincerely hope that the wheels4freedom project will encourage others to use “the Line” as a route of pilgrimage and future fundraising for such a worthy cause. As we passed memorials along the way we left an explanatory tribute card. We also had permission, following arrangements made by the Royal British Legion, to lay one of two wreaths we had taken with us on our bikes at the Menin Gate at Ypres during the Last Post ceremony. We laid our other wreath close to the beach at Nieuwpoort on the Belgium channel coast where our journey ended, both wreaths being left as an act of remembrance for those on all sides who died in the First World War. The primary objective of all of this was to purchase and maintain the three electric wheel chairs which will each be assigned to a victim of conflict by the Royal British Legion, giving those with limited mobility the sort of freedom that cannot be overstated. We would like to thank all of those who have contributed so far, we are already half way to the total and would encourage others to lend their support.”

Further donations to help Nigel and Peter reach their target can be made in two ways. Either by sending a cheque to Nigel Petrie c/o Plas Eliseg, Llantysilio, Langollen, LL20 8DE made out to ‘The Royal British Legion’. Or, use your credit or debit card online:

Past rides

Wheels4freedom follows on from Nigel and Peter’s previous fundraising efforts which have seen them cycling more than 8000 miles and raising £80,000 for charities such as Macmillan Fund, Help the Hospices and the Prostate Cancer Charity. Previous long distance rides include: Rome to Canterbury, the Camino de Santiago from three starting points in France and the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santiago.

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