Photo: Riders setting off from the Air Ambulance base at Marden at the start of last year’s double 100 Cycle Challenge
Life-saving charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for cyclists to enter its annual bike ride next month (September 27th).
More than 300 riders entered last year’s Double 100 Cycle Challenge and helped raise a record £45,000 for the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) which relies almost entirely on donations.
The 100-mile and 100km rides start and finish at the helicopter bases at Marden and Redhill and will this year include a special 25-mile route to celebrate the charity’s 25th anniversary.
Among the riders will be a former air ambulance critical care paramedic and a Shepperton father he helped save following a cycling accident.
Andy Curran, 44, suffered multiple injuries after he crashed during a training ride and had to be given emergency treatment at the road-side by the doctor and paramedic Stu Plumbley from Caterham.
He spent three months in hospital and even missed his wedding but has since made a good recovery following the accident four years ago.
Another former patient taking part in the ride is Peter Fletcher from Dover who was involved in a collision with a car while training for a ride aid of the air ambulance.
He also suffered multiple injuries and had to be given emergency treatment at the roadside but has since made a good recovery following the accident three years ago.
He said: “I have become a lifelong supporter of the air ambulance. It is appropriate, given my accident, that I have signed up for the Double 100. My year has been planned toward this event and it has helped my recovery.”
Brigade Electronics from South Darenth, who have already raised £7,500 for the air ambulance, and Southeastern Railways at Orpington, are among the teams entered in the ride which has again kindly been sponsored by Fidelity Worldwide Investment.
Vicki Haxton, Senior Manager Corporate Citizenship, said: “Fidelity is proud to be supporting the Double 100 Cycle Challenge for the second time in their jubilee anniversary year. We are delighted to support the Air Ambulance and help raise money for this incredibly worthy cause.
“The air ambulance is a vital service in this area and we recognise the significant contribution they make towards saving lives in our community. We are looking forward to many of our employees participating in the event.”
The Double 100, now in its fifth year, has also been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, and supported by Halfords, Warburtons and Bobby’s Foods.
The ride is open to regular, occasional and sportif cyclists with free lunch and refreshments provided at feeding stations along the scenic route. The registration fee is a minimum of £15.
Riders will set off between 7am and 9am with free parking, changing and toilet facilities available at both starting points. Motorbike marshals will be riding the course throughout the day and there will also be mobile mechanics and a breakdown recovery vehicle.