D-Day

Cyclists Raise Money With D-Day Challenge

The Pink Pub Cyclists are travelling from Bognor to Normandy in honour of a friend who died.

A group of friends are cycling to the D-Day commemorations in Normandy to raise money for charity.

The Pink Pub Cyclists are based in Bognor and are taking on the challenge to support All Call Signs, a post-traumatic stress disorder charity.

The 25 cyclists are dressed as the home guard and are doing the cycle to honour their friend, Danny Johnston, who took his own life a year ago after returning from Afghanistan.

Oli Hicklin is one of the cyclists and believes the effort that they are making is important.

He said: "Charity is all about making people do the impossible so people pay more.

"We pay all of our own costs. Every penny that people donate goes to where it needs to go. We ride in polyester suits and ride on £25 bikes.

"They are rubbish. Our gearbox thing has exploded twice already. They are bad, but that’s what gets people to want spend money."

The group's main base is the Royal Oak pub in Bognor.

The journey from Bognor to Pegasus Bridge in Normandy spans 140 miles.

The aim of the challenge and charity is to send out beacons to alert people about any ex-servicemen or women who go missing.

Dan Arnold is one of the co-founders and spoke about the charity’s impact.

He said: "Routinely, we see that people have taken themselves to a secluded area with the intention of harming themselves.

"We harness the power of social media. We find it really important to engage a demographic of people like me.

"We’ve done that 38 times to date, with 35 positive recoveries where we have supported individuals back into their families and to get support moving forward from there."

Already, the Pink Pub team have raised over £100,000 for the charity, but with a more personal challenge, they hope that number will rise.

Danny Johnston’s legacy in the town of Bognor is huge according to Jack Keywood, one of the cyclists.

He said: “The love that the town has got for the man. There are benches named after him. We are about to have wells made after him in Africa.

"I’ve never seen anything like it – there are cocktails in Bognor that are called ‘DJ’."