Fifteen members of the Royal Air Force, ex-RAF and families of RAF from Malmesbury have raised thousands of pounds by taking part in the RAFA Virtual Bike Ride charity event last weekend (June 14).
They all wanted to join a national event to raise funds for projects to support the most vulnerable in the RAF community who are suffering during the Covid19 crisis.
The RAF Association has launched four emergency projects to combat issues including loneliness.
Like many other charitable organisations RAFA has seen a significant drop in their income to provide support at a time when demand has increased.
Originally the event was supposed to be a virtual ride on turbo trainers using app technology but as social distancing rules were relaxed, the volunteers decided to make the most of the outdoors and put in some serious pedal power.
One of those who took up the challenge was Gareth Lock, who was in the RAF for 25 years and now runs his own business The Human Diver.
He said it was the longest bike ride he’d ever done at 102km and the fastest he had ridden too at 28.8km/h average speed.
Gareth said: “It was a great day. The weather was just right, apart from the 15-20 mins of torrential rain near the end!
“The generosity of the RAF ‘family’ and those connected to it is brilliant to see.
“The RAFA can now provide additional support to those RAF members and families who need it.”
Riders chose their own routes around Wiltshire and beyond to maintain social distancing rules, with distances covered ranging from 50 to 100 miles – some started at 7am to finish by 1pm.
The Malmesbury team have so far raised over £2,500 and the event nationally has currently raised more than £62,000.
For more information or to support the fund-raising effort visit www.justgiving.com/team/RAFMalmesbury-RAFA-Ride