FORTY-five Freemasons will be getting on their bikes this bank holiday weekend to cycle 280 miles for charity around the ‘perimeter’ of the Yorkshire West Riding Masonic Province, calling at the masonic hall in Holmfirth on the way.

Included in the team is Ilkley Freemason Phil Atkinson who has been in training for this gruelling challenge for the last four months.

The aptly named ‘Provincial Perimeter Pedal’ (PPP) will start on Saturday (((((23 August))))) at Tapton Hall in Sheffield and head north to High Bentham, across to Ripon and then South through Goole returning to Sheffield on bank holiday Monday.

It is a gruelling route with the cyclists climbing 7,000 feet on the first day, around 8,500 feet on the second, with a less arduous challenge on the last day.

The route will take in 24 masonic halls on the way, where the cyclists will be greeted and served refreshments.

They are scheduled to start arriving at Haworth Masonic Hall from approximately 1.25pm on Saturday before cycling on to Keighley Masonic Hall and then on to the next one on the ‘perimeter’ at Skipton.

The sponsorship money raised by the cyclists, from other Freemasons, will go towards the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) Festival which was launched in 2012 and runs for five years. It has raised more than £1m to date.

The idea for the challenge came from Huddersfield Freemasons Martyn Bolt and Craig Johnson who were inspired by the Tour de France and wanted to create their very own ‘Tour de West Yorkshire’.

In fact Martyn was one of the people who helped design the initial route for the Tour de France and is keen to point out that a greater distance will be covered in the PPP than the Yorkshire section of Le Grand Depart.

Speaking about the challenge ahead Adrian Lilley said: “Freemasonry very much revolves around charity, so to combine a challenge like this with helping to raise money for good causes has helped us all to attract a significant amount of sponsorship, which will certainly inspire us as we tackle the route.”