Mike's Cycling Challenge on Track

03 Aug 2021

A mammoth cycling challenge is being undertaken by an officer from HQ RAF Air Cadets and it’s going well...

Wing Commander Mike Ainsworth, 56, Acting Chief of Staff at HQ RAF Air Cadets, powered through more than 400 miles last weekend to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

He said: “Last week was the second of the main elements within my overall 5,600-mile challenge for the RAF Benevolent Fund. 

“The first was the 205-mile ride from RAF Scampton to Johnny Johnson’s home near Bristol to mark the 78th Anniversary of the Dambusters Raid on 16/17th May.  The latest element comprised four 100-mile rides on four consecutive days to symbolise the four dams attacked by 617 Squadron on the raid.  

“With the vast majority of the riding taking place in Bomber County, this was my own Tour of Lincolnshire from the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa, with each ride heading out in a different directions to cover a wide area of the county. “


The first three days covered the north, south and east of the county and were undertaken solo whilst the final day was the RAF Benevolent Fund’s Dambuster Ride 107-mile sportive. 

Mike said: “My training and preparation of the four days paid off.  I was able to pace my rides to conserve energy and visited some lovely cafes across the county.  The scenery was stunning, from the flat straight roads and big skies of the Fens to the rolling countryside of the Lincolnshire Wolds and the Lincoln Cliff.   In total I covered 413 miles over the four days which is 50 miles further than the Tour de France covered over the same four days.  That said, the riders in the Tour de France rode considerably quicker than me; although, I did enjoy more café stops with numerous cakes.

“I have covered 4,249 miles towards my target of 5,600 miles and the RAF Benevolent Fund Dambusters Ride fundraising campaign as a whole has now raised over £140,000.  Now I will take a break from riding within a structured training plan and enjoy some social rides locally before I start preparing for the next significant element of the challenge.”                               


*The RAF Air Cadets has linked with the RAF Benevolent Fund this year for the RAFBF 80 in 80 Challenge.  Individuals are being challenged to cover 80 miles in 80 days in any innovate way they can and raise money for the RAFBF which helps RAF service personnel and members of the RAF Air Cadets.  If you would like to get involved see:http://rafbf.org/aircadets

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Air Cadet Magazine

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