A group of cyclists from Cambridgeshire Police are joining forces with colleagues from the Ministry of Defence and College of Policing to form a team for this year’s Police Unity Tour (PUT) ride which sets off on Friday morning (19 August).
The annual event, which takes place in memory of fallen officers and raises funds for the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity, is now in its 10th year.
The Cambridgeshire team is being led by Detective Inspector Caroline Scully who will ride alongside the county’s Assistant Chief Constable Vicki Evans and Force colleagues Ian Swales, Chris Herring, Keren Pope, Claire Marland, Ash Anderson and Sam Harvey.
The team also includes MoD Police Chief Constable Andy Adams and his colleague Matt Godfrey and Maria Stanley from the College of Policing.
They will all be supported throughout the 100-mile challenge by back-up crew Sue Swales from Cambridgeshire Police and paramedic Robert Marland from the East of England Ambulance Service.
Becky Jones and Kerry Grehan-Howarth were both looking forward to taking part but have had to pull out because of injury although both have continued to support the riders throughout the preparations.
Caroline said training had mainly taken place in the flat fenlands of Cambridgeshire but was confident the team will be able to handle the hills of the Midlands as they get closer to the finish line in Staffordshire.
The team will set off at 9am on Friday from Force HQ and finish the first day in the saddle at Market Harborough, Leicestershire.
Caroline said: “Coming from a very flat county, we will certainly notice the hills. They are interesting on day one and get worse for day two but the team always pulls together to support each other throughout.”
The second day will see the cyclists take a rural route to Tamworth, Staffs, where they will join up with colleagues from PUT chapters from across the country and ride as a peloton to Drayton Manor and meet the families of fallen officers.
Sunday morning sees the whole PUT family gather at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas for the COPS memorial service.
Each team member traditionally wears a coloured wristband dedicated to a fallen colleague throughout the ride.
Caroline said: “We carry bands for Cambridgeshire officers but also officers from Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, West Yorkshire Police, Police Service of Northern Ireland and the MoD so it gives us a really nice opportunity to meet families from other forces.
“We are united as a team riding and then on the Saturday evening and Sunday morning we are united even further with those families and that is very special.”
Caroline first got involved with the tour in 2017 when she organised a team of cadets and was inspired by the impact it had.
She said: “I took my cadets for the first time and I realised how impactful it was and how supportive it was for the families.
“And so I decided I would really like to ride, colleagues asked me to organise it and I have taken part in every tour since then.”
The PUT ride has become a major highlight on the policing calendar and has raised more than £1 million for the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity since the first UK ride back in 2013.
Supporters can make a donation via the Cambridgeshire PUT 2022 JustGiving page.