A PROCESSION of cyclists will ride from Catterick Garrison to Sunderland in memory a fallen hero.
The family and friends of Nathan Cuthbertson are inviting cyclists to join them on the trek from Yorkshire to Wearside in honour of the paratrooper, who was killed in Afghanistan in June 2008.
The young soldier was just 19 when he was killed by a suicide bomber in Helmand Province, and his loved ones have organised an annual fundraising ride – “Cuthy’s 200” – every year since.
Previous events have also seen riders cycle 200 miles in 24 hours and complete the coast-to-coast in one day, as well as take on the route from Catterick to Sunderland, which they are repeating again this year.
Nathan’s dad Tom, from Tunstall, said: “It’s our sixth annual ride and we hope to get more riders involved again.
“Last year we reached 100 riders. The ride from Catterick Garrison to Sunderland is approximately 58 scenic miles.”
The ride takes place on Sunday June 8, anniversary of Nathan’s death.
Tom said organisers were keen to get as many people involved as possible on the day, if not on the ride then at a finish event at Ashbrooke Sports Club.
“We have lots planned such as a Red Devils display, live music, a barbecue, lots of kids entertainment, shooting ranges and assault courses,” he said.
“The ride sets off from Catterick at 7am and is due to finish at Ashbrooke about 3pm.”
The events will raise money for Brothers in Arms, set up by families of those killed in recent conflicts and service.
The group successfully campaigned and fundraised for a memorial wall to be built next to Sunderland’s cenotaph to remember Wearside’s post-World War Two heroes.
Brothers in Arms also provides help to veterans and serving armed forces personnel, and is working on other projects.
Nathan was killed alongside comrades Private Daniel Gamble and Private Charles Murray while serving with 2 PARA. Their deaths took the total toll on British forces serving in the country to 100.
The total number of British deaths now stands at 453. All but five were killed since the Helmand operation began in January 2006.
British forces pulled out of their last outpost in the region last week.
•Anyone interested in taking part in the ride can contact Tom for more details on 07951 853 128 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.