A TEAM of eleven cyclists from a Swindon car dealership have raised more than £6,000 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance after peddling 101 miles from London to Devizes.
Staff at Mercedes-Benz in Drakes Way set off from the iconic RAC Club in Pall Mall, London, and cycled 101 miles through bright sunshine and torrential rain to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance headquarters on Sunday May, 14.
Managing director Mike Fellows was one of the plucky few who took to the saddle for a cause he described as “extremely worthwhile”.
Mike, who rediscovered his love of cycling around two years ago, said: “It was a fantastic experience, everybody really enjoyed it.
“We had a real mixed bag of abilities, some people hadn’t ridden for years. But we all took up the rallying call and decided to get fit – it was a great challenge.”
Wiltshire Air Ambulance is the car dealership’s nominated charity for the year and the staff are always keen to do all they can to support it.
The team had trained hard throughout the winter months, all losing weight and getting fitter in preparation for the challenge, which they labelled Ride101.
Mike said: “Everyone was keen to do something for charity. I had the idea back in September to do something around cycling for a good cause. We live in such a great county and it’s a lovely place to cycle.”
The team, made up of retail managers, sales executives and technicians, left Swindon at 6am and braved the London traffic before setting off on their epic journey towards Devizes.
“On the day we had a mixture of sunshine, showers, some more sunshine, wind and a torrential downpour,” said Mike.
“But we all finished with a huge smile on our faces as we were welcomed back from our by family and friends – very special moment for us all.”
They have so far managed to raise more than £6,000 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance: the Bell 429, which is the first of its type to operate as an air ambulance in the UK.
“The Air Ambulance is such an important thing,” said Mike.
“We all drive on the roads and see incidents involving cars and lorries, and the response from the rescue crew is phenomenal.
“They need as much support as they can get and it’s a privilege to back them.”