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Back on their bikes ... for pounds and Town.

Byline: JOANNE DOUGLAS

RECORD numbers of cyclists have stepped forward for Pedal for Pounds - Huddersfield Town's annual charity bike ride.

And just three weeks after the launch, last year's entry level has already been smashed.

The end-of-season ride will cover more than 260 miles from Yeovil in Somerset to The Galpharm stadium in Huddersfield.

Fundraisers will boost Town's Keep It Up campaign, a charity launched to help both the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Huddersfield Town's academy.

And in spite of the intimidating distance, scores of people have agreed to get on their bikes to raise cash.

Huddersfield Town's business development manager, Mark Davies, said they were delighted with the response.

He said: "We've got 187 already and we only had 168 in total last year, when they rode to Brighton. We're aiming for 250 now!

"It's a bit overwhelming. The first year just 22 people did it when they made the trip to Southend and it's a whopping number now."

Mr Davies said he thought the popularity of the marathon bike ride was down to the camaraderie of the riders and its accessibility to every-day people.

He said: "I think it's something out of the ordinary. It's a massive challenge for people but at the same time most people can ride a bike.

"It's not like a run where's it's exclusive, anyone who puts in a bit of training can do it.

"Last year we had a 63-year-old, a tandem and blind man, so if they can do it, your average John Smith off the street can certainly do it."

Cyclists are encouraged to try and raise pounds 1,000 each and Mr Davies said they were hopeful they could raise pounds -m this year, bringing the total pot up to pounds 'm. Riders will be transported down to Yeovil in time for the big send-off, on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, with the aim of reaching the Galpharm in time for the match on Saturday, May 5. Registration for the 2012 ride is open until mid January.

Sign up via www.htafc.com

CAPTION(S):

* BIG RIDE: Town supporters preparing last year at the Galpharm Stadium for the Pedal For Pounds bike ride from Huddersfield to Brighton
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 2, 2011
Words:367
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