In June the cycling team and support crew commenced their 500 mile, 100 hours cycling challenge, with the aim of visiting 100 current and former RAF Stations. The first 12 hours would take in 12 Stations starting at RAF High Wycombe and finishing at RAF Halton. The next day the trek North from RAF Halton to RAF Wittering began, the goal was 22 Stations with about 115 miles of cycling, unfortunately into a head wind. Cranfield, Cardington, Alconbury, Collyweston and finally Wittering, to name but a few, were all visited during a day when temperatures soared.
The team then left the county of Rutland to skirt the Nottinghamshire / Lincolnshire border, continuing North to RAF Scampton. 26 Stations were visited covering 95 miles, including RAF Cottesmore, Spittlegate, Fulbeck, Swinderby, Barkston Heath, and Belton Park. After navigating through the Lincoln rush hour traffic RAF Scampton was reached, the team basked in the knowledge that they were well over half-way. With 24 RAF Stations and 125 miles to ride, Wednesday’s Lincolnshire Loop, departing from and returning to RAF Scampton was always going to be a ‘slog’. Following-on from the previous day’s route that was densely populated with former RAF Stations, served as another reminder of just how many Stations the RAF operated from up to the post-WWII era in the East Midlands and Lincolnshire area. Many hours and 125 miles later the team returned, tired but with a huge sense of reward at having completed such a long day and taken in so much history of the Service.
The final push – 16 Stations and 70 miles around central and eastern Lincolnshire. Aided by some strong front riders the team forged a path into the gusts passing through Digby, Cranwell and Leadenham. The opportunity to ride on to the orange at the front of the RAF College at Cranwell was fairly unique and in a brief respite some of the team undertook an impromptu criterium around the grounds, maximum speed 28 mph. Finally the team linked-up with the RAF100 Baton Relay at All Saints Primary School in Waddington with 30 mins to spare before the 100 hrs was up. After a brief engagement and photograph with the year 1 and 2 pupils the relay baton was handed over and the team commenced its final leg to RAF Waddington. In close formation, the team rode on to the camp and presented the RAF100 Relay Baton to the RAF Waddington Station Commander, Group Captain Tom Burke.
So, 100 hours after heading-off from RAF High Wycombe and with RAF Waddington the last of the 100 Stations the team completed its challenge. The support crew and up to 9 riders taking part with 4 completing the entire 500+ miles.