Cycling Group, including 2 Air Ambulance ex-patients, Tackle 275k ‘Chase the Sun’ biking Challenge

The Bishop Monkton Next Challenge Cycling Club (BMNCCC is gearing up for an extraordinary cycling adventure as they prepare to take on the Chase the Sun Italy 2023 challenge to raise vital funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

The passionate cyclists will embark on a demanding 275-kilometre journey across Italy, starting from the east coast at sunrise and climbing to a 3300-metre elevation at the journeys peak, before reaching the west coast prior to sunset.

The motivation behind this ambitious adventure is deeply personal for the BMNCCC group, as two of their members have experienced first-hand the critical medical assistance provided by Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Ollie Coughlan, aged just 39 at the time, suffered a cardiac arrest in March 2018. He received immediate aid from his friends at the time who were able to use a local defibrillator in an attempt to restart his heart whilst they waited for the emergency services. Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s crew swiftly arrived at the scene in their Rapid Response Vehicle, used during poor flying conditions, and playing a vital role in his successful outcome.

More recently in January 2022, Ben Cairns, who works for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and regularly works with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance team, was involved in a cycling accident in a remote area of North Yorkshire, resulting in a broken hip, femur and ribs. Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s crew swiftly arrived at his aid, securing his leg, and flying him to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, where he received emergency surgery.

Scene of a bike accident with emergency services
Yorkshire Air Ambulance rushes to the aid of Ben Cairns after a cycling accident, providing critical care and airlifting him to hospital for emergency surgery.

Initially setting a two-thousand-pound fundraising target, the group has exceeded their goal in just two months, with donations from over 65 supporters. With 16 days still to go until the ambitious ride, the group are setting their fundraising goals sky high to make an even more substantial contribution to the emergency services charity.

Reflecting on his life-changing experience and the charity that aided him, Ollie said, “I will be forever grateful for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance crew’s fast response on the day of my accident. Now, I am determined to give back by actively fundraising for the charity, ensuring they can continue their life-saving work for others in need too’.

Ben adds, “We invite everyone to join us in this incredible journey by donating to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. None of us know when we might need their assistance, so let’s stand together and give back to this truly important charity.”

The cyclists will proudly don specially made orange bike jerseys, sponsored by Albion Cycling, featuring a holographic ‘Proud to be Supporting YAA’ logo, throughout their ride. Additionally, the group will be actively documenting their ride, capturing and sharing real-time pictures and videos and check-ins, for all their supporters to feel a part of their experience.

cycling jersey
The cyclists will proudly don specially made orange bike jerseys, sponsored by Albion Cycling.

Linda Stead, Regional Fundraising Manager at Yorkshire Air Ambulance, expressed her gratitude, saying, “We extend our heartfelt thanks to the cyclists for their incredible support and dedication. This epic ride is not only a test of their endurance and determination but also a heartfelt initiative. Their fundraising efforts will help us continue flying across Yorkshire and saving lives.”

To contribute to the BMNCCC group’s fundraising efforts, visit their JustGiving page. Every donation will go towards ensuring the continuation of the vital service.

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