Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance create month-long charity route to raise funds

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Motorcyclists are being encouraged to get out on their bikes to help raise money for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance service.

In a month-long fund-raising campaign known as 'Ride the Route 2020', the life-saving helicopter charity are inviting bikers to take on a 62-mile set journey through the two counties in exchange for a donation.

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L to R: Organisers Alan Wilds and Roland Johns

"We don’t get any lottery funding, or government funding. Without the generosity of the public, there would be no air ambulance," Lincs and Notts volunteer, Roland Johns, told MCN. "Bikers are vulnerable road users, so it’s nice to know that the air ambulance is there, should they need it." 

The journey itself mimics a route previously used for the charity’s 'Ride to Save Lives' event – an annual September outing which last year attracted more than 400 bikes and raised around £11,500. Riders were invited to make a £12.50 donation, plus a little extra for a pillion, before taking on the marshalled route. 

Due to coronavirus, this year’s mass gathering had to be cancelled, with the Ride the Route campaign providing an alternative way of showing your support and enjoying those same roads. Anyone wishing to take part should make a donation to the charity’s Just Giving page.

Riders are encouraged to ride in smaller groups

Beginning on Saturday, September 5, riders have until Sunday, October 4 to complete the journey, with the end goal being to raise £2000. To adhere to Covid guidelines, riders are urged to remain in groups no larger than six. At the time of writing, the total generated already stands at £235 from 14 donations, with just under 26 days to go.

"Bikers are very generous, because they realise how important it is," Roland continued. The 70-year-old Blood Biker helped establish the Ride to Save Lives idea back in 2015 and added: "We didn’t want to lose our biking supporters because of what is happening, and we look forward to welcoming everybody back next September, instead."

According to Roland, the annual figure needed to keep Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire’s helicopter in the sky is around £4 million, with each mission carried out costing in the region of £3500. Roughly three flights are carried out every day, with various support vehicles also needing to be funded and maintained.

The organisation is planning to return to their usual format next year. Anyone wanting to take part in this year’s journey should head to www.ambucopter.org.uk for a full breakdown of the ride, plus more instructions on how to donate.

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade