Thursday 15th May 2014 – 3.15pm – Claire Brown.
A charity cycle ride by a group of paramedics last week saw them peddle a gruelling 850 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End in just seven days.
Black Country paramedics Dave Bentley and Neil Weaver together with a support crew of paramedics Neil Baars and Olly Ayles, embarked on their journey on Saturday 3rd May in a hope to raise £2,000 for Pilgrim Bandits, a charity which supports injured armed forces members.
On Friday 9th and after seven tough days of cycling, the team declared to their avid Facebook and Twitter followers that the “boys have arrived” in Land’s End where they celebrated their achievement with a bottle of champagne.
The journey, however, wasn’t without incident. On day two, Neil came off his bike on the A9 in Scotland and was knocked unconscious. He was given treatment by the paramedic support crew and colleagues from the Scottish Ambulance Service. After a few days rest and recuperation, Neil returned to the saddle. During day five, a combination of poor weather, punctures, navigational problems and sheer exhaustion meant the team had to abandon the day’s planned journey early in North Devon. On day seven and with less than 50 miles to go, the team got off their bikes to help an elderly couple at the side of the road. In full cycle gear, Dave, Neil and Olly changed a flat tyre on their car. The couple were so grateful that they donated £20 to Pilgrim Bandits.
Dave, whose close friend was severely injured during a tour of Afghanistan in 2006, said: “It was a hard and exciting week with lots of ups and downs….. and that was without the hills! Seeing my mate injured on day two, I feared that we would have to cut short the event. However, with his bravery for getting back on the bike, the support teams’ massive efforts and the huge support we received from people along the way, we were strong into the finish. Not only have we smashed our target by raising £2,800 for Pilgrim Bandits, we’ve raised awareness about the charity along the way. A massive thanks to all who have supported the event. We’re still recovering!” To read about their incredible journey and to see more photographs, visit their Facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/999jogle2014.
Notes to Editors
Pictured (left to right): Celebrating at Land’s End – Neil Weaver, Olly Ayles, Neil Baars and Dave Bentley