The Falklands Forty Bike Ride: Everything You Need To Know
The Falklands Forty's much-anticipated bike ride is less than a month away. Igne (then SafeLane) is delighted to announce the final itinerary of the ride, in addition to highlighting some of the outstanding and inspirational veterans that will be participating.
Forty years ago, on the 14th of June 1982, the Falklands War ended. Seventy-four days of fighting had resulted in 255 British fatalities, leaving a traumatic legacy that is still felt today.
Four decades later, a group of Falklands War veterans are remembering the fallen and commemorating the war’s conclusion in a unique way: by cycling across the United Kingdom.
They are known as the Falklands Forty.
Recap – what’s the Falklands Forty initiative?
Gus Hales, a Falklands War veteran and an avid cyclist, created the Falklands Forty initiative to raise awareness of three core attributes he believes were vital to Britain’s victory:
- Endeavour: pushing into the unknown, rejecting failure as an option.
- Endurance: facing the challenges, no matter how tough and exhausting.
- Comradeship: knowing victory would only come through working together.
The bike ride will have eight stages, each of which hold special significance and meaning for the veterans and their families. The ride will begin on the 5th of June 2022 and conclude over 330 miles later on the 12th of June 2022.
Some of the Falklands Forty members include:
- Gus Hales – Royal Engineer Paratrooper: “My sense of gratitude for surviving the Falklands War and having 40 more years of life than those who never returned is immeasurable. In that respect, my deepest wish is to live life to the full, on behalf of all those who never came home.”
- Gary Steele – 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment: “I’m doing this to raise awareness and celebrate the achievements of my friends and comrades during the Falkland's war in the most positive and uplifting way I can.”
- Michael Leather – 9th Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers: “I have never stopped reflecting on the Falklands and the brutality of it, but my thoughts about it especially since I have become involved in this ride, are far more positive and reconciliatory to date.”
- Graeme Armstrong – Royal Engineers: “Although I live thousands of miles away in the USA and it is a long way to travel, I wouldn't miss this ride for anything. I have always kept in touch with my former army colleagues and one of them (John Hare) was the team leader for 'Igne', the organisation that cleared the last mine in the Falkland Islands after 39 years.”
- Chris Warner – Navy (HMS Plymouth): “I carry my “shrapnel" with me on memorable occasions to reflect and remember the 255 servicemen that weren't as fortunate to get back home”
- Angela Hales – QA Royal Army Nursing Corps: “I feel it is a great privilege to once again support these men [Falklands War veterans] and other cyclists on their epic adventure, a very fitting tribute to the endurance and courage of all those years ago.”
- Kevin Robinson – 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment: “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to join other Falkland War/OP CORPORATE veterans on this epic cycle ride from Cardiff to Aldershot, promoting awareness of the Falklands war and its 40th anniversary, in addition to raising funds to support veteran charities whenever possible.”
You can read about the Falklands Forty in more detail via the following blog posts:
Additionally, a range of rider profiles and ride details can be found on Igne’s social media accounts:
The Falklands Forty itinerary
Igne is delighted to announce the Falkland Forty’s final ride schedule, detailed below:
Day 1 (June 5th) – Cardiff to Brecon (50.5 miles)
Departure location: Welsh National Falklands Memorial, Alexandra Gardens, Cardiff.
Departure time: 12:00.
Significance: Day 1 commemorates the Naval and amphibious operations that took place during the Falklands War, remembering the brave soldiers that died on the HMS Cardiff and Sir Galahad.
Day 2 (June 6th) – Brecon to Hereford (38.2 miles)
Departure location: Brecon Peace Gardens, Brecon, Powys.
Departure time: 11:30.
Significance: On Day 2 the Falklands Forty team will visit the Brecon Peace Gardens to visit the Falklands War Memorial and lay a wreath before heading to Hereford, proud home of the SAS. The landscape of the Brecon Beacons is similar to that of the Falkland Islands and was utilised for training purposes.
Day 3 (June 7th) – Hereford to Wolverhampton (60.6 miles)
Departure location: St Martins Church, Hereford.
Departure time: 10:30.
Significance: Day 3 will commemorate the 20 SAS members who tragically lost their lives in a Sea King helicopter crash as well as all SAS members who fought during the Falklands War.
Day 4 (June 8th) – Wolverhampton to Rugeley (16.1 miles)
Departure location: Aldersley Stadium Velodrome.
Significance: On Day 4, the Falklands Forty will complete 40 laps at the Aldersley Velodrome in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War. The Falklands Forty team will remember the air campaigns of the Falklands War and visit the RAF Museum in Cosford to view some of the harriers and aircrafts that helped win the war.
Day 5 (June 9th) – Rugeley to Meriden (38 miles)
Departure location: Rugeley Travelodge.
Departure time: 09:30 (to National Memorial Arboretum).
Significance: On Day 5, the Falklands Forty team remember the British Forces that took part in the Operation Corporate Campaign – the British codename for UK’s military operations throughout the Falklands War. At the Arboretum, Falklands Forty team members will lay a wreath in respectful remembrance of those lost during the conflict.
Day 6 (June 10th) – Meriden to Chipping Norton (54.7 miles)
Departure location: Meriden Green.
Departure time: 10:30.
Significance: The Falklands Forty team will remember those who died during World War I and World War II. In Meriden, they will visit the Meriden Cyclists’ Memorial as they did in 2021. When the Falklands Forty team reach the 255-mile point, they will stop and remember the 255 servicemen and civilians who died during the campaign.
Day 7 (June 11th) – Chipping Norton to Streatley-upon-Thames (41.8 miles)
Departure location: Chipping Norton Premier Inn.
Departure time: 11:00.
Significance: The Falklands Forty team will ride in silence on Day 7. This will be done out of respect for the fallen and so that the Falklands Forty team can reflect on the lives lost during the Falklands War. There will be no other events arranged on this day.
Day 8 (June 12th) – Streatley-upon-Thames to Aldershot (30 miles)
Departure location: Streatley on Thames YHA.
Departure time: 08:45 (to Pangbourne) / 09:30 (to Aldershot).
Significance: The Falklands Forty team will stop at the Falklands Memorial Chapel in Pangbourne and attend its service. Afterwards, they will travel onwards to Aldershot. In Aldershot, the Falklands Forty team will visit the military cemetery. They will pay their respects and lay a wreath in memory of all those lost.
This will mark the end of the important and hugely significant journey for the Falklands 40 team.
Supporting the Falklands Forty
Igne has sponsored the Falklands Forty’s journey, and you can too. Visit their JustGiving page and make a contribution to support these admirable veterans on their journey:
If you can’t make a monetary contribution - if the Falklands Forty are riding near you, just showing up and cheering them on will make a huge, positive difference to their journey.
For a more detailed breakdown of the Falkland Forty’s routes or for any other questions regarding their ride, contact Igne today.
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