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Teacher gets on his bike

PUBLISHED: 16:26 08 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:07 03 July 2010

The summer holidays should be a time of relaxation and a time to have family fun.

But for one Norfolk deputy headteacher the expected balmy weather will be replaced by a gruelling 2,500 mile bike ride to the chilly Arctic Circle.

The summer holidays should be a time of relaxation and a time to have family fun.

But for one Norfolk deputy headteacher the expected balmy weather will be replaced by a gruelling 2,500 mile bike ride to the chilly Arctic Circle.

Bike mad Martin Philpot of Gorleston's Cliff Park High School will be pedalling off on July 25 from Norwich across Europe to Norway's North Cape.

It is hoped that the 54-year-old's six week journey to one of the continent's most northerly points will raise about £1,000 for the EDP's We Care Appeal, which supports the county's carers.

Luckily, Mr Philpot has timed his bike ride so that he arrives at the tundra of the Arctic Circle when it is at its hottest- 8C.

He was meant to go on the journey last year but had to pull out because of a family bereavement.

Mr Philpot is also fortunate that his wife, Elizabeth, has grown accustomed to his regular charity cycle rides, including journeys across America and Australia, during the holidays.

Mr Philpot, who lives in Norwich and cycles to Gorleston as part of his training, said: “My wife is sort of used to it now and she knows how much I enjoy it. People do think I am a bit mad when I say I enjoy the solitude and the challenge.”

He will be cycling up to 80 miles a day as he travels through Holland, Germany, Poland and the Baltic states before reaching Norway. Unlike previous journeys he hopes to stay in hostels and guest houses instead of camping out in the wild.

Anyone who wants to sponsor Mr Philpot can contact him at Cliff Park High School by calling 01493 661504.

Yarmouth police inspector and former royal marine Rickie Botwright will be joining 50 ex-commandos on a 13 mile speed march in London for the Help for Heroes charity.

Insp Botwright, who served in the Royal Marines for 12 years, including the Falklands conflict of 1982, hopes to raise at least £500 from the march on November 7.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Insp Botwright can contact him on 01493 333125.


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