St Albans pub landlord gears up for 600km charity bike ride 

Christo Tofalli, from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, and St Albans Film Festival director Matt Bigg.

Christo Tofalli, from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, and St Albans Film Festival director Matt Bigg. - Credit: YOFC

The landlord of a St Albans pub embarking on an epic 600km charity bike ride is well on his way to smashing his £5,000 target - and he hasn’t even got on his bike yet.

Christo Tofalli from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in Verulamium Park has already raised £1,400 for three local charities as he prepares to set out on the long bike ride from the St Albans pub to visit the landlord of the other Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in Arnside, Cumbria, before cycling on to Scotland.

The three charities Christo is fundraising for are Save St Albans Pubs, a not-for-profit community group and two mental health charities, It’s OK to Say and Youth Talk.

He sets out on the bike ride on September 16 and will be joined on the bike ride by local creative and St Albans Film Festival director Matt Bigg and a few other mates along the way, plus a three-man film crew who are going to record their journey.

Talking about the challenge he is undertaking and the money he has raised so far, Christo said: “I am so grateful for all of the support we have had so far; the money is invaluable to these charities.

"As well as the money for the local charities, I am also looking for Ride Top sponsorship packages, which is a great opportunity for local businesses to get their logos on our riding jerseys, or alternatively sponsor a stage of the journey or sponsor the documentary that is being made about the ride.

“We are leaving St Albans on September 16 from the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks  at 10am. We have the town crier coming as well as Father Richard Watson from St Saviour’s Church who will be blessing the ride. We would love to get as many people along to join us in starting the first stage of the journey with us for an easy ride around the lake before we head north.

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“I am also really humbled by support from the Rotary Club, who will be helping to raise money to support my bike ride at their barn dance at St Saviour's Church on October 22."

Christo's team will be joined by a camera crew who will be filming the whole journey and also raising awareness of the FBS Foundation, also known as the Fake Beer Syndrome Foundation.

“There are billions of FBS sufferers across the world including myself” said Christo. “The condition strikes when you promise to meet an old friend you haven’t seen for ages but don’t honour that promise, and within a few days, you feel overcome with guilt and sadness that you are letting your friend – and yourself – down.”

“I am obviously an FBS sufferer, having promised Tony at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in Arnside nine years ago that I would visit his pub and enjoy a cold beer with him. I am now honouring that promise – as well as raising funds for three local charities – and ridding myself of FBS as rehabilitation by cycling all the way to Arnside with a few mates to have a beer with Tony.

“We are encouraging other people to talk about FBS and share. We have a number of small films lined up that will show people about my journey of recovery.

“And I have masses of support along the way from a wide range of local businesses including the Herts Advertiser, EYES On St Albans, St Albans Brazilian Jujitsu, Ask for Clive, Pub Pride, Loudbird PR and Communications just to name a few.”

The documentary is being filmed in five episodes, three of which have already been released.

To can find out more about how you can support Tofalli, his three charities and the FBS Foundation by heading over to