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28th March 2022

Handlebarmy Army’ to ride again for AFCB Chairman’s charity

SIX years after cycling from AFC Bournemouth’s Dean Court ground to Manchester United’s Old Trafford, the ‘Handlebarmy Army’ fundraisers are saddling up for another epic ride for Jeff Mostyn’s local cancer charity.

The Handlebarmy Army are 10 cyclists from Poole and Wimborne, who in their latest adventure will ride 1000 miles in just nine days from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

As with their previous challenge, the team will be raising funds for Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) of which Cherries’ Chairman Jeff is Patron.

Group member David Harris said: “Myself, six friends and three London firefighters rode from Bournemouth to Manchester in 2016 and by the time we arrived we were a team brought together by our passion for cycling, challenges and raising money for charity.

“Sadly, two of the people who took part with us – my father David Harris senior and firefighter Carl Cavanagh – have since passed away.

“My dad died after a valiant battle with cancer, and then, just 14 days later, Carl suffered a fatal heart attack while competing in the Iron Man triathlon in Mallorca.

“My dad had a great passion for cycling and continued to cycle throughout his short battle with the disease. He was the healthiest 71-year-old you could imagine and remains an inspiration to us all.

“Carl was crew commander with Heathrow Airport Fire and Rescue Service and was only 45 and a father of four. He had the most infectious personality and would always leave an impression on you, for all the right reasons.

“So, to honour them both and raise more money for charity, we are planning to do the number one bucket list cycling challenge for UK cyclists – The 1000-mile ride from John ‘O Groats, the most northern point in mainland Scotland, to the most southern point in England, Land’s End.

“We have had to postpone the ride twice due to Covid-19, But we are determined to do it this July 8-16 and will be raising money for DCCF and The Fire Fighters Charity.”

DCCF gives non-repayable financial assistance to local families who are struggling because of cancer. The charity, based in Poole, routinely pays for accommodation and household costs, transport during treatment, childcare and short breaks.

Jeff Mostyn caught up with some of the Handlebarmy Army at a DCCF fundraising event at Rick Stein in Sandbanks, Poole, earlier this month (February).

He said: “Words cannot express the admiration I have for this group of people. What they achieved in 2016 was fantastic. Now, having lost two of their much-loved team mates and loved ones, what they are doing to support us means even more.

“I can’t wait to follow their progress as they attempt this massive challenge and I hope individuals and local businesses come forward and sponsor them.

“Every pound donated will go directly to Dorset families who are struggling because of cancer.”

The Handlebarmy Army is seeking businesses which would like to sponsor the team or individual riders’ jerseys. Sponsors will also feature in social media for the event and will be invited to attend a post-ride award evening and film night later this year. For more information email:

You can also sponsor the team via their JustGiving page at: