A well-known Buckingham neighbourhood constable will be swapping police uniform for cycling gear when she takes part in a John O’Groats to Lands End cycle ride.
Nicki Tipping, aged 51, is one of a group of seven beagle enthusiasts from all over the country who will come together to cycle the 900 miles in nine days in aid of the charity Beagle Welfare.
Farmer’s daughter Mrs Tipping, who has been a local police officer for the past eight years, is the proud owner of three rescue beagles from Beagle Welfare, as well as an elderly collie and two cats.
The idea of the Tour De Beagle’ ride came about after the team of five men and two women met through the Facebook page Beagles UK.
This year is the 35th anniversary of Beagle Welfare and the group were looking for a fundraising venture they could undertake, when somebody suggested the epic cycle ride.
“So I said yes, I’m up for it,” said Mrs Tipping.
“Then I went out and bought a bike!
“Before this ride, the furthest I’d ridden was the 20-mile Tour de Vale, which must have been 14 years ago, when it was in Winslow.”
The team have been training hard and last weekend covered 170 miles over two days, from Morecambe to Bridlington.
Mrs Tipping also runs with a dog attached to a running belt, known as canicross.
“She said: “It’s the best way to get fit and the dogs love it.
“I call it beagle-assisted running – you’re definitely quicker!”
The Tour De Beagle sets off from John O’Groats on May 30, arriving at Lands End on June 9.
Every day, the riders anticipate being met at the finish line by a welcome party of local beagles and their owners.
The team have already raised over £10,000 including Gift Aid for Beagle Welfare.
This has bought a van for the charity’s rehoming centre in Burton on Trent, which will be launched at the Beagle Dog Walk in Nottingham on May 18.
Now a confirmed cycling addict, Mrs Tipping is a member of the A5 Rangers cycling club in Towcester.
She also patrols by bike whenever possible in her day job.
Once the Tour De Beagle is out of the way, she intends to start leading local women’s cycle rides, and has already done her training with the British Cycling Network to lead Breeze bike rides for women.
She said: “The reason I got involved was, when I started last year and started looking into women’s cycling, there was very little locally.
“So I decided to try to get more ladies involved.
“It’ll just be a gentle five to 10-mile ride at first because I don’t want to put people off.
“I wanted some legacy at the end of this. I didn’t want to stop cycling. This will be my legacy.”