Read about the ride as it happened from cycling enthusiast, pedalling paramedic and Norfolk General Manager, Matt Broad.
‘We have all felt a huge sense of achievement in completing the 999 mile “GB10” ride. We have not finished receiving donations but we expect to have raised around £6,000 for the Ambulance Service Benevolent Fund (ASBF). The ride
was really tough with not only really long days in the saddle but the terrain and weather was also a challenge.
The first two days saw us complete more than 250 miles. Day one was from Cambridge to Sheffield and then onto Newcastle for the second day. Heading up into Yorkshire and through the Dales was tough riding and combined with heavy rain made things hard-going.
Day three we rode with Chief Executive Bob Williams from the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) as he joined us for our final 30 miles as we rode into Penrith.
Day four saw the team take on Shap, which saw us climb to more than 1,000 ft and we rode up and over the peaks to drop into Kendal before riding onto Manchester.
The weather from day five improved and we had a fast ride down from Manchester to the National Memorial Arboretum for a visit before we ended the day in Worcester.
For me the hardest day was day six as both the terrain was hilly (and some) and also I was feeling really tired. We rode up and over the Malverns and it was the hardest climb I had done. Five miles with an average gradient of 6% (18% at its steepest) really drained every last ounce of strength I had. After a good night’s sleep and plenty of food day six took us through the picturesque towns of Ross on Wye and a lovely lunch stop an Tintern Abbey. After the brief visit to Wales it was across the Severn Bridge and onto our overnight stop in Bridgewater.
Our quickest day’s riding was on day seven as we picked up some great pace after two big climbs and covered just more than 100 miles in six hours 30 minutes. We finished off the day riding through the New Forest and on onto Southampton. We returned back to where we had our last drinks stop at a pub where the Landlord had given us a cheque for £100 for the ride for our evening meal, and a few well deserved drinks.
Day eight and nine covered 218 miles and was completed in glorious weather. It was hot so a stop for some of the team to become paddling paramedics in the sea at Worthing was the order of the day. Our last day was through London and back to Cambridge via Chelmsford. We had a great reception from friends and family at both stops and we rode across the finish line on Saturday evening at 5pm.
We would like to thank our support drivers Paul Goodchild and Tom Miller for putting up with us and looking after us for the nine days, the Trust for its kind support plus the GMB/UNISION and Orwell Trucks who all kindly supported the ride. Next year’s ride will start to be planned soon and we hope to be doing more smaller events where we can encourage more staff to come along and ride with us.’