Hundreds of cyclists assembled at Watchet Harbour on the Somerset coast to take part in the 5th annual Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Coast to Coast (C2C) Cycle Challenge on 17 May.
The event, which is not a race, saw a total of 553 cyclists turn out on the day, in what has become an annual spectacular. 532 cyclists took part in the gruelling but glorious 54 mile ride to West Bay in Dorset and a further 21 cyclists completed the shorter, 11-mile route which began at Drimpton and also ended at West Bay.
Watchet Town Crier David Milton brought a local personal element to the starting line. He motivated the cyclists with humour and enthusiasm and after encouraging the cyclists to visit one or all of our four pit stops on-route, before they were set on their way by the Mayor of Watchet, Cllr Peter Murphy
Of those taking part, there were former patients who had experienced the work of the air ambulance first-hand. Others cycled in memory of loved ones, as part of a team, or simply as a personal challenge to show their support for the life-saving Charity. At 76 years young, Jeffrey Davey was the oldest participant of the day, and cycled the full 54 miles. The youngest cyclists were Olivia Reid and Georgie Neville-Rolf (aged 9) who completed the 11 mile route.
Matthew Norris from Bridport, Steve Toogood and Kevin Watts from Minehead, were the first three cyclists to arrive in West Bay. Matthew was first to cross the finish line last year and has taken part in the event for the past four years.
A gathering of cyclists wearing blue t-shirts saw Team O Tumblers once again come out in force raising thousands of pounds in sponsorship. Patrick and Lavinia de Pelet, both of whom are 74, completed the cycle and have raised over £2,000. Rachael Green who set up her own JustGiving page has already raised approximately£1,200.
Last year, the Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge raised over £60,000 for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.This year, prizes will be awarded to those who raise the most sponsorship in the following categories: Adult, Under 16 and Team. These will be presented later in the year when all funds are received.
As well as sponsorship of the cyclists, there are two other ways in which donations can be made in support of the event. These can be made online via the Charity’s website: www.dsairambulance.org.uk or by mobile phone by texting: COAS05 £5 to 70070
More information about the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance can be found by visiting: www.dsairambulance.org.uk or by calling: 01823 669604.
This post was edited on 22 May 2015