Thursday 31 May 2018. 9am – 10.30am Tarrant Rushton Airfield Memorial, Blandford, Dorset  DT11 8SB.  Injured soldiers taking part in the Pilgrim Bandits gruelling 1500mile recumbent cycle expedition in New Zealand later in the year are training with a dedicatory ride from Dorest to Pegasus Bridge in France.  The training ride will honour the anniversary of the WW2 mission codenamed Operation Deadstick, a critical part of the Normandy Landings that saw the Airborne Division, based at Tarrant Rushton, Dorset, successfully secure what is known today as Pegasus Bridge (renamed in honour of the Airborne Forces).    This is a crucial shakedown training ride that will see the Operation Ride UK teams leave Tarrant Rushton to cycle the 76 miles to Portsmouth for the overnight ferry crossing and then spend the next 4 days taking part in the D Day celebrations and visiting Military Cemeteries.

Operation Ride Details:   27th October 2018 – 17th November 2018.  Severely Injured soldiers and veterans making up three international teams from the; UK, Canada, and New Zealand, are to cycle, using specialist recumbent tandem cycles (see training picture), over 1500 miles from the most southern point to the most northern point of New Zealand during late October and November 2018.  Working with The NZ Defence Force and New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment Association, this will be the first distance event of this kind and it is hoped it will become an annual challenge with Operation Ride being hosted by the winning team in 2020.  Operation Ride will cover 100 miles of challenging terrain per day.  Each cycle will have an adapted hand element at the front for the amputees.   Participants below:

Ben Parkinson MBE Doncaster 31 Double Leg Amputee, brain injury and 30+ other injuries
Caria Ammerlaan Aberdeen Able Bodied (team captain)
Richard Wilkinson Lancashire 41 Single Leg Amputee
Craig Hayworth Lancashire 51 Single Leg Amputee
Mark Allen Kings Lynn 28 Double Leg Amputee
Hugo Mellor Bristol 36 Able Bodied (team captain)
Geraint Hampton Cardiff 35 Able Bodied (team captain)
Tyler Christopher Carmarthenshire 34 Double Leg Amputee
Mark Brown Colne 56 Above Elbow Left Arm Amputee
Stuart Holcroft Yorkshire 42 Single Leg Amputee
Jonathan Le Galloudec Wiltshire 38 Spinal Injury
Martin Compton East Sussex 35 85% Burns
Vince Manley Plymouth 48 Double Leg Amputee
Matt Hellyer Hereford Support team
Andre Edwards Christchurch Support team