15 Feb 2024

Gavin with his bike, on his event to raise money for London's Air Ambulance Charity

Gavin Cullen has just completed the immense challenge of cycling 1,700km from the Chilean Pacific coast to the Argentinian Atlantic coast to raise vital funds for London’s Air Ambulance Charity.

The expedition took nine consecutive days and saw Gavin cycle over 100 miles per day, spending between nine and 12 hours in the saddle on each. The second day was the toughest, ascending up to 13,000 feet in the Andes, before crossing the border into Argentina. Through heat that reached 40 degrees, strong headwinds and dust devils, Gavin cycled relentlessly, with London’s Air Ambulance Charity motivating him through.

“Knowing I was doing it for charity and that people had supported me with donations was definitely a big driving force,” said Gavin. “It was a massive challenge to take on, but what an amazing charity to do it for.”

Gavin was aware of London’s Air Ambulance Charity as his wife Suzie, a PR Consultant, had been doing some pro bono work with the charity’s fundraising committee.  

“Many years ago I had a serious cycling accident in Buckinghamshire and so I can understand how cyclists in London need medical help on the roadside,” said Gavin.

“I’m aware London’s Air Ambulance Charity helps so many road users, including cyclists, which was a huge reason as to why I chose to support them.”

Some of the route Gavin cycled for London's Air Ambulance CharityThis challenge was not one for the fainthearted. Gavin had to deal with the challenges of altitude, blisters, lack of sleep, many a puncture and saddle sores – all whilst pedalling day in day out. “A lot of physio tape was used on various body parts, but it was absolutely fantastic! I met some wonderful people, cycled through stunning terrain and had to be incredibly resourceful at some points. The height we ascended during the challenge was equivalent to scaling the Shard 30 times – I’m not sure I would have signed up if I knew that beforehand! But I’m so glad I did.”

Gavin’s incredible achievement quickly surpassed his original fundraising target of £3,000 and has raised over £6,000. This amount will fund nearly three whole missions, sending our advanced trauma team out to critically injured individuals who do not have time to make it to hospital. We’re so grateful to Gavin for his amazing efforts in supporting our life-saving service.

Now back home, Gavin is planning his next event for London’s Air Ambulance Charity. “I’m organising a spin class for 40 participants. I’ve hosted something similar in the past and am keen to do another to benefit London’s Air Ambulance Charity."

If you’re interested in taking part in a challenge event for London’s Air Ambulance Charity, please get in touch with the team on [email protected].

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