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30 Jan 2017
HOYER Petrolog UK cycling team takes on 280-mile ‘Cycle South Africa’ challenge.jpg

HOYER Petrolog UK cycling team takes on 280-mile ‘Cycle South Africa’ challenge

A team of cyclists from HOYER Petrolog UK is planning to embark on a 450km (280 mile) ride across South Africa to raise funds for Transaid.

The quartet who are based across the UK will tackle Transaid’s Cycle South Africa Challenge ride from Western Cape to Cape Agulhas, the southern-most tip of South Africa, from 10th-19th March 2017.

Cycle South Africa 2017 is the latest cycling challenge in support of Transaid. Every 12 to 18 months, up to 30 participants take on the challenge of mountain biking across Africa. Previous challenges have included Cycle Uganda, Cycle Malawi, Cycle Tanzania: Mount Kilimanjaro to the Ngorongoro, Cycle Kenya and Cycle Madagascar. The most recent Cycle Tanzania challenge in 2015 raised £133k for Transaid projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

Forty cyclists are aiming to complete the South African tour.

The HOYER UK cycling team includes Duygu Bayrakci, 32, Operations Manager, Southwest and Midlands, from Fleet in Hampshire, Mark Jepson, 44, SHEQ & Compliance Manager  from Huddersfield, Paul Noble, 28, Operations Manager, North, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and Matthew Cox, 42, Fleet Engineer, from Romsey in Hampshire.

Duygu Bayrakci is a first time cyclist embarking on her first long distance challenge. She is co-ordinating the team explaining: “We are training individually as we all live quite far apart from each other.”

She said: “I wanted to get involved in this great challenge because I was so touched when I watched Transaid’s Ambulance Bike video to see something seems so simple can actually save so many lives and if I could do anything to contribute improving those people’s life standards I thought this would be the great opportunity to do it.

“I wasn’t a cyclist until I signed up for this ride challenge but now I have a bike and started cycling training for the challenge. I am doing my training at the weekends and have so far managed to cycle up to 30 miles in a day so there is still room for improvement as we would be cycling an average of 50 to 60 miles a day for SA ride challenge.

“I am feeling confident that I will reach to that level of fitness by March and although I haven’t been a keen cyclist up to now, I am a keen runner so that should help me with cycling training. As part of my training I have been going to gym and following a training programme as well.

 “I am delighted to take place in this cycle challenge which aims to raise money to support Transaid’s significant work in countries with greatest need for help and contribute Transaid’s many lifesaving projects . I am looking forward to be part of this great cause and raise as much as we can to help Transaid reach out to more people who are in need.”

Paul Noble, 28, from Huddersfield has worked for HOYER for seven years and describes himself as sports mad.

“Transaid aren’t just saving lives by improving road safety in less developed areas of the world through driver training but they are coming up with innovative ways to give people access to healthcare they previously never had.

“I will get involved with any type of sport especially for a good cause. My main hobbies are tennis, football, running and hiking/mountain walking. I keep active and my training at the moment is mostly made up of playing sport and running.

 “I have been out for a few cycle rides recently on my mountain bike and put in a good few kilometres on the exercise bike I have indoors too.

 “I was compelled to raise money for Transaid because it’s such an important and worthy cause that I don’t think people really appreciate, I certainly didn’t until getting involved and learning about what they do.”

Mark Jepson, 44, from Huddersfield has worked for HOYER for 17 years and for the past 12 months, has worked as SHEQ and Compliance Manager for the past 12 months. His work covers all areas of the HOYER business and he helps to ensure compliance with safety, dangerous goods and operator licence legislation.

Mark says: “I was keen to raise money for Transaid after seeing a presentation they gave at a HOYER seminar and learning what people like ourselves can do to help their cause."

“As an ageing sportsman with worn out knees, I was looking to take up a different sport to football which is my main exercise, along with the gym and swimming. I have been training on a mountain bike since August and enjoy the different challenge which cycling presents and look forward to testing myself against the African terrain.”

Matthew Cox, 42, has worked for HOYER for three years as Fleet Engineer supporting the Esso, Petrolog Fuels and PUMA Bitumen contracts. Working within the Fleet Support Services department he covers these contracts across the whole of the UK managing all aspects of vehicle maintenance, repairs and legal compliance for the contracts he supports.

Matthew said: “I’ve never been to South Africa before and jumped at the change when offered the opportunity to support Transaid by doing a cycling event and being one of the members of TEAM HOYER.

“Cycling is my main hobby and I ride mostly at weekends with Braishfield Cycling Club. We mostly cycle in the Test Valley area of Hampshire and New Forest, mountain biking in the winter and road cycling in the spring and summer.

“For me, I think the biggest challenge of the Transaid event will be the heat more than cycling for several days in a row or the distance involved.”

Team HOYER has set up a Just Giving page and has so far raised more than £14687, topping a target of raising £14,000 for Transaid during the ride. .To support the team follow this link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hoyercyclechallenge

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