News News One Week until Air Ambulance Cycle Challenge! Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is holding its 9th annual Coast to Coast (C2C) Cycle Challenge on Sunday 12th May 2019 and is hoping that the public will come out in support of the 600 cyclists taking part. The event, which is not a race, involves a challenging 54-mile cycle ride which starts at Watchet Harbour in the North and ends at West Bay in the South, following a wonderfully scenic route through the beautiful Somerset and Dorset countryside. A staggered start will see the stronger cyclists set off first at 11.00am with the less experienced riders departing at 11.15am. A shorter 11-mile route starts at the Royal Oak public house in Drimpton at 2.00pm and also finishes at West Bay. Last year’s event saw people of all ages and abilities take part, raising over £62,000 for the life-saving charity. With only 600 places available, it was no surprise that the event sold out within days of online registration being open. This year, the Charity is hoping to raise even more and is strongly encouraging those who are fortunate to have gained a place, to raise additional funds through gaining sponsorship. This can be done by setting up a Coast to Coast Fundraising Page or by completing a sponsorship form. This ever-popular event is renowned for being an emotional and inspiring day out for everyone involved. That’s no surprise given the fact that the cyclists include patients who have experienced the work of the air ambulance first-hand and those who take part in memory of a loved one. Others get involved as part of a team or simply want to challenge themselves and support the Charity in return. Supporters will be able to cheer the cyclists on at the starting point, at the various pit stops along the route, or at the finish line celebrations which take place at Station Yard Car Park in West Bay. As well as individual sponsorship of the cyclists, donations can be made in support of the event via the Charity’s Online Fundraising Page Every penny raised really will make a big difference! Bill Sivewright, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer said: Our Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge is a fantastic occasion and the atmosphere is incredible. The event has now been running since 2011 and seems to go from strength to strength. This is hugely down to the selfless support of all the wonderful volunteers, local businesses and members of the public who help us in so many ways on the day. Our thanks also go to the event sponsors and the various pit stop locations along the route, who provide a well earnt rest and refreshments for all those taking part. Finally, I would like to thank the cyclists for their continued enthusiasm for this event. We strive to build on the success of the previous year and continue to restrict the number of entries to 600. This means that there are often people disappointed not to gain a place who want to raise funds for us by taking on this challenge. We really hope that everyone enjoys the day, that the weather stays fine and that this year’s entrants will encourage others to sponsor them and raise as much as they can in a bid to make this the best Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge yet!