...but it's not all plain sailing for some
FIVE intrepid cyclists have abandoned ship in Gibraltar to cycle more than 1,250 miles across Europe to Devonport.
The team stationed on HMS Bulwark, left the ship this week on the cross-Europe trek with the aim of covering an average of 150 miles per day.
The route will take them through Spain, over the Pyrenees Mountains, and across France before finally taking a ferry from Roscoff to Plymouth having climbed more than 10,000metres up-hill.
The journey will take the team nine days, with a return to Plymouth scheduled for Tuesday.
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Team leader, Commander Kris Nicholson, said: "The team will work together as a peloton to cover the miles as efficiently as possible. This is a once-in-a -lifetime opportunity which will help raise money for a great cause."
The aim of the ride is to encourage fitness, personal development, as well as team-building and to improve leadership – all this whilst promoting and raising money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
Making up the rest of the team are Royal Marines, Captain Triggs Triggol and Sergeant Daz Hinton, and sailors, Chief Petty Officer Dickie Allman and Logistician Samantha Kelly. They will be supported by Lieutenant Mark Taylor in a safety vehicle.
During their ten-plus hours in the saddle each day, they will encounter darkness, varied weather ranging from a pleasant and sunny 19 degrees Celsius to high winds and minus temperatures.
HMS Bulwark is returning home for Christmas from Operation Cougar 12, a two-month training deployment to the Mediterranean as part of the work out for the UK's high readiness force exercising the Response Force Task Group (RFTG).
To follow the riders or make a donation either visit the Royal Navy Facebook page or www.virginmoneygiving.com/bulwarkcycleteam2012.