A team of soldiers are set to be given a heroes’ welcome when they arrive at their new home in Leuchars following a 1800km bike ride.
The team of eight soldiers and one officer from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will leave their base at Fallingbostel in Germany on June 13 and pedal up to 120km a day to their new home at Leuchars Station, hopefully arriving on schedule on June 29.
The party, who travelled to Leuchars this week by a less strenuous form of transport to bring all their belongings in advance, will journey back to Fallingbostel before setting off on the cycle - and they said they can’t wait to begin their new life in Fife.
Lieutenant Will Brazier, who is taking part in the cycle, said the route will take the team past Waterloo. However, they will not be taking part in any of the commemorations being held from June 18-21 to mark the bicentenary of the famous battle.
The journey will take them mostly along B class roads to the Hook of Holland before the crossing to Harwich.
From there they will cycle up the east coast through the Northumbria national park before arriving in Scotland. The team will then head onwards to Edinburgh and then journey to the Kincardine Bridge and along the Fife coast via the East Neuk and St Andrews, to Leuchars.
Will said: “The team comprises a mix of ranks and abilities. Most are fairly capable cyclists and we have been doing quite a bit of training in preparation. It won’t be easy though, we do expect it to be a challenge and the weather is looking pretty mixed too, especially for our arrival in Scotland.
He added: “We are really looking forward to it and can’t wait to going. When we arrive in Edinburgh we will be joined by some Scots DG veterans who will accompany us for the rest of the journey. We’ll also be meeting up with the locally-based Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (SNIY) who will complete the cycle with us into Leuchars.”
Will went on to say that the team have been using ‘map my ride’ technology to plan their route and have received support and advice from some professional cyclists.
Once the ride begins the team will also be putting together a video blog of each day’s cycle which will be posted in their facebook page www.facebook.com/ SCOTS DG Cycling
“The cycle is all about our re-basing at Leuchars and coming into the area. We are all looking forward to getting there and getting started. All around us here we’re just surrounded by packed boxes; everything is boxed up ready to be shipped over and it’s like a ghost town. We’re ready to leave.
“Scotland is our home and everyone in the regiment is looking forward to finding out more about the area around our new home, meeting people and becoming part of the community.”
Will added: “We are very confident that we’re going to complete the cycle but it will be a challenge, there’s no doubt about it and that’s why we’re doing it. We’ve done a lot of charity work so decided this is just going to be a way of marking the regiment coming home, not raising money.”
When they arrive at Leuchars after 17 days in the saddle it will be to a heroes’ welcome. Already a welcoming committee of friends, family and colleagues has been organised and the team will be treated to tea and cake in addition to a well-earned rest.