200 miles, 24 hrs. Yorkshire to Suffolk. Madness!! for East Anglian Air Ambulance because we all may need H.E.M.S assistance one day. Think!
Charity Registration No. 1083876
East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) is a 365-day-a-year helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) covering Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk & Suffolk. We do not receive regular direct government funding and the £10.2 million we need to raise this year comes directly from charitable donations.
In continuation of our charity cycle event last year when we cycled a total of 220+ miles to all the main USAF bases in the south of England over a 3 day period, this year we have decided to attempt to cycle from the most Northerly USAF Base (that we know of) at Menwith Hill, nr Harrogate North Yorkshire, back to our regional Vinci Facilities office in Mildenhall, Suffolk.
That’s just short of 200 miles in one 24 hour period!
The team cyclists consists of 4 members, Matt Browne from WT Parker, James Coupe, Peter Hancock and Tim Colman from Vinci. This challenge took place on Friday 14th August. Thankfully we didn’t need to call EAAA out either during the challenge, as at a £2800 cost for each callout they attend, the money will soon run out.
The Ride commenced in heavy rain at RAF Menwith Hill at 07:10 after a technical delay in the operation of our main GPS routing computer. Good steady pace to our 5 pre-planned stop points where we met Peter Hancock from Vinci in the support van for refilling bottles and Energy Gel replenishment. We hit some of the famous Lincolnshire hills (there’s me thinking Lincolnshire is flat!) at around 106 miles which tested our stamina with a 1 mile 8.1% climb, followed shortly by another similar climb for a further 3/4 mile. Progressed through to the only puncture of the ride, but on the A47 during rush hour! Not the place to be I can assure you. Good pace again across the Fens, to Mildenhall, arriving at our office at 20:15, and some 3.5 hrs quicker than we or anyone else had anticipated! Tired, but very happy!! Just for the record 195.7 miles covered in 11 hours 7 minutes riding time, with 5419 ft climbing and 6140 ft descent.
We owe a great deal of thanks to various individuals and teams of people, from Vinci Fleet for arranging the transport to get to the start and the support vehicle for the cycle ride back. To Peter Hancock for driving us there and being there at each of the return journey rendezvous points, making up and changing over the energy drink, gels etc.. To George Templeman at Templeman Design www.templemandesign.com for providing the cycle jerseys and essential waterproof tops for which we wouldn’t have completed the journey without them! To Brian Gibb at The Cycle Jersey.com www.thecyclejersey.com for turning around the superb team cycle jerseys and rain tops in double quick time. To Philippe and his team at The Wellington in Darley www.wellington-inn.co.uk for putting up with our nutritional demands, and for providing the important carb loading liquor the evening before the ride, and to the team at High5 www.highfive.co.uk/ for the nutritional information we depended on to keep us going for the rides duration.
This really was a mammoth challenge, and your kind donations were very much appreciated to make this a worthwhile event for a very worthwhile cause.
To all our supporters, work colleagues, managers, directors, families, friends, and more importantly, all the sponsors who have contributed to the final donation figure to the East Anglian Air Ambulance totals, we thank you all. It’s been a truly successful team event and team challenge conquered.
Next SOMAD Challenge for 2016???
Tim Colman |Technical Manager | Defence Design Department | Vinci Facilities | Mildenhall