TEAM 109 CYCLE PORTISHEAD TO POOLE FOR THE RNLI
After 6 months of training, spin classes and cycling on the weekends, Team 109 set off on their mission on 1st June, to cycle from the Lifeboat Station in Portishead to the RNLI Training College and headquarters in Poole, raising in excess of £6,200.
The trip was spread over 2 days to make the journey of 109 miles a bit more bearable. It followed cycle tracks all the way (give or take a few miles) and wasn’t without its challenges. The team of 13 were made up of cyclists and their support vehicle, were local RNLI volunteers from Portishead, their family and friends.
An hour into the ride Team 109 were given, very generously, a much needed coffee and cake by Café Gusto near Queens Square, before they set off again. Just around the corner the problems started. They were hit with a snapped chain, a flat tyre and problems with breaks. Thank goodness Chaos Cycles who again offered to support the team free of charge, were able to get them back on the road.
Things were then going well and just as they were going to take another break on the outskirts of Bath, a cyclist going the other way recognised the team’s RNLI t-shirts and asked them for help as a man had collapsed on the cycle path just a short distance away. The team sprung in to action as 2 of the crew members had done their vital casualty care course, the RNLI’s medical training which is given to all crew members and teaches them valuable skills in dealing with this kind of incident whilst out on the water. They climbed back on their bikes and raced to help. On arrival to the scene the casualty’s wife told them that an ambulance had been called and after an initial assessment it was clear that reassurance for both the casualty and his wife was all that was needed. Once the man and his wife were in the capable hands of the Ambulance service, they set off again.
They went through rain, sunshine, long dark tunnels, beautiful countryside, there was even a requirement to remove a tick! They met many lovely people all with their stories to tell. One of the AirB&B’s they used in Mere even gave them a free room to rest for the night, massive thanks go to Grace & John for their fantastic generosity. They received a donation from one member of the public when they stopped for lunch, the support was amazing. Oh, and there were hills, lots of hills, much to the annoyance of one particular team member who shall remain nameless!
The support vehicle covered by the iconic yellow welly stickers, a VW campervan, was kindly donated for the few days and with the brilliant Richie driving and Minnie in charge of the camera, they followed the team’s every mile. They carried spare sets of equipment, tools, water, snacks and overnight bags, Richie came to the rescue on a number of occasions to mend bikes along the way.
Organiser of the event, Helen said ‘I was inspired to do a bike ride by my friend Alan who I met recently when he came to our Lifeboat Station. He is cycling the whole coast in his spare time for the RNLI and helped me with our route to Poole. It was just another crazy idea I was going to ride it on my own with my hubby following me in the car and suddenly I had friends and family wanting to come with me. I am completely overwhelmed by the support from each and every one of the team, the coffee shops, bike mechanic, and accommodation freebies were so unexpected, I cannot thank them all enough. We all kept each other going, moral was sky high and we had a great time. I set up the Just Giving page with a target of £1,000. We have smashed that total and it is still going up, thank you everyone who has supported us, it means so much!’
If you would like to support Team 109 you still can here:- https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rnli109
To find Alan on his adventures take a look here:-
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All images ©RNLI Portishead
1 – The finish
2 – The beginning
3 – The ride
4 – Longleat saw a welcome rest!RNLI media contacts
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 200 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved 140,000 lives.
A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland
Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland