A TRIO of top brass from a Whiteley-based telecoms firm left their desks to make a 300-mile cycle ride in aid of a services charity.

Onecom CEO Darren Ridge, accompanied by solutions director James Bannister and finance director Adam Fowler took on the Pickle Ride along the route known as the Trafalgar Way – their efforts raised £15,000 for Care after Combat.

The three-day event saw a 25-strong team travel from Falmouth to London following the route taken in 1805 by Royal Navy officer Lieutenant John Richard Lapenotiere of HMS Pickle, who landed at Falmouth before travelling to London by horse-drawn carriage to break the news of Nelson’s victory and death at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Darren is vice president of Care after Combat, which supports the well-being of veterans, particularly those with alcohol and substance misuse problems, and helps reduce re-offending.

The charity is based at Whiteley, near Onecom’s HQ.

Darren said: “I love a challenge, especially in aid of a charity that is so close to my heart. I am a regular cyclist but the climbing in this route made it difficult, especially in Cornwall where the hills come one after the other without much time to recover between them.

“The cold and rainy conditions on the first day, when we went from Falmouth to Exeter with about 10,000ft of hills, didn’t help! The second day from Exeter to Salisbury was a similar amount of climbing, but at least the weather was better."