Veterans take on 100-mile cycle challenge across Vale of York

MILITARY veterans and injured service personnel, some of them severely disabled, will take on a 100-mile bile ride through the Vale of York to raise money for Blesma, the Limbless Veterans and Cancer Research UK.

A group of veterans  including some severely disabled  are preparing to take on a 100-mile bike ride through the Vale of York on Saturday 26th May, to raise money for Military Charity Blesma, the Limbless Veterans and Cancer Research UK. Pictured centre, in the yellow shirt, is organiser Jonathan Bell

Now in its third consecutive year, the Blesma 100 will see more than 150 riders start in Easingwold on May 26 on a circular route, taking in Thirsk, Topcliffe and Boroughbridge, including crossing the River Swale at Aldwark.

Team organiser Jonathan Bell, who will be completing the challenge on hand-cycle, was one of 76 veterans, most from The Green Howards Regiment, to cycle 100-miles through South Yorkshire countryside to raise £32,000 for fellow injured veterans in the first year of the challenge.

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The Blesma ambassador, who was injured with a number of his colleagues from 1st Battalion, The Green Howards while they were on a pre-deployment training exercise on Salisbury Plain in 1993, is paralysed from the upper chest, and is an amputee.

Mr Bell, 53 from Weybridge in Surrey, said: “Having only my arms to propel the handbike means I have to start training early if I’ve any hope of being strong enough.

“I’m on a static trainer while the weather is bad and will be out on the roads soon building up the miles and endurance. It’s a big challenge for all of the guys but we’re determined to finish.”

Blesma is a national charity that was formed in the years following the First World War to support limbless service men and women.

For more information or to get support the Blesma 100, go to