Blood Biking #ride5000miles member transports vital Coronavirus samples as volunteer

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A charitable member of #ride5000miles has revealed he has been carrying potentially life-saving samples of the Covid-19 virus as part of his volunteer work with the Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes (SSCBB).

Andrew Harrison, 58, from Telford has been riding as a Blood Biker for the best part two-and-a-half years and currently commits to around one-and-a-half 12-hour day or night shifts per week around his job as a company director in the shipping industry.

"Everything is triple-bagged, so you generally don’t know what you are carrying. The technician just said off-hand that this was one of the Covid-19 tests and that’s how I found out what was onboard," the advanced rider told MCN.

Andrew discovered he was transporting samples of the virus on Sunday, March 29, during a 150-mile day across the Shropshire countryside between facilities.

Andrew Harrison on a blood bike

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"It makes you think 'sh*t – this is in my hands. This virus, that’s causing the turmoil, is right there in my hands,'" he explained. "Then my thoughts turn to the NHS staff, as they are dealing with live patients that are actually breathing this bug out. How must they feel?"

SSCBB operate 24 hours a day, 365 days per year and deal with some smaller hospitals, which lack the facilities to study the virus. As such, samples must be collected and delivered to a clinical pathology lab, where they can be analysed.

Andrew continues: "All of us, we just do what we do – whether it’s picking up the demon bug, or just picking up standard blood samples – we’ll turn out, whether it’s sunny or raining, or the middle of the day or middle of the night."

Making a difference and taking strain away from the NHS, volunteer bikers are also able to get their biking fix in a safe controlled manner, with Andrew adding: "Knowing I’ve got to ride is brilliant and it’s even better to know that the ride is going to involve a twisty road – such as the route between Telford and Ludlow.

"If I had those calls all day, I would be a happy chappy!"

Support the work of the Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes at: ssbbgroup.org.uk

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

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