Sponsored ride from Exeter to Bristol this weekend in £2,500 fundraising drive

A group of 20 students from Exeter University will this weekend undertake an 80-mile bike ride from the cathedral city to Bristol to help raise funds to buy two bicycles to allow the Devon branch of St John Ambulance to set up a cycle response unit.

Fifteen of the students taking part in the bike ride are members of LINKS, the Exeter University division of St John’s Ambulance, and the aim is to raise £2,500 by pedalling from the charity’s headquarters for Devon to those in Bristol this Saturday.

A spokesperson for St John Ambulance told the website This Is The West Country: “Cycle Responders are a valuable addition to the St John Ambulance team of first aiders who usually operate in ambulances or on foot.

“The riders can tackle special duties including those where isolated locations would make it hard for land ambulances to reach casualties or they can also reach other first aid emergencies at events quicker than volunteers on foot.

The spokesperson continued, “The customised mountain bikes have the necessary suspension, gearing and tyres needed for the riders to operate comfortably and safely throughout their duty.

“Medical gases are carried in panniers on the bikes along with an Automated External Defibrillator, minor treatment kits, information leaflets for specific injuries and further advice, neck braces, slings and other vital equipment that would normally be carried by a first response vehicle.”

According to the Exeter LINKS page on the charity website Just Giving, the team are already almost two thirds of the way towards achieving their target, ad if youwould like to donate, you can do so here.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.