SAC Simon Lowther and a team of colleagues recently completed a 2000-mile scooter challenge to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. In this guest blog, Simon tells us about the challenge.
Two thousand miles on a scooter doesn’t sound like a good idea to most people but in aid of two great charities, the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Army Benevolent Fund, my five-man team thought it would be a worthwhile task.
Our aim was to visit 19 active RAF stations and two RAF memorials in four days stopping for gate collections along the way.
Our first port of call was to arrange the use of four mopeds and a van; luckily a friend of the motorcycle club worked for the Honda UK institute who very kindly offered the use of four brand new scooters of our choice.
Visiting different RAF stations
On the first day of our challenge we rode to the Bomber Command Memorial to meet up with our Bike Safe Met police riders. With blue lights on and engines started, a small group of scooters set off through London surrounded by police bikes that blocked junctions and roundabouts.
I felt like royalty whizzing through the streets of London passing puzzled, early morning commuters trying to see who this was with a blue light escort. We arrived at RAF Northolt in a flash and jumped into action. Our collection buckets were at the ready and our charity T-shirts were put on as we leapt upon unsuspecting workers waiting to enter camp.
Next, we rode on to RAF High Wycombe followed by visits to RAF Odiham, RAF Benson, RAF Halton and RAF Brize Norton. I accept full responsibility for the dog-legged nature of our route, owing to my less-than-useful geography skills. It did make the trip longer but I like to think it also made it more fun.
Day two of the challenge
On the second day of the challenge the team rode to RAF Valley where we received a warm welcome along with a hearty collection. We took a team photo and then it was time for us to begin the long trip north to RAF Lossiemouth. Hundreds of miles were already under our belts and the weather was looking up the as team hit the A9.
When we reached RAF Lossiemouth we were greeted with big smiles from Team RAFBF Lossiemouth, who made us cups of tea and gave us a huge bag of biscuits.
The third day of our challenge saw us make visits to RAF Leuchars, RAF Bulmer, RAF Leeming, RAF Cranwell and lastly RAF Wittering where we stayed overnight. By the fourth morning of the challenge, the team were exhausted but we still had two more visit and so we rode on to RAF Conningsby and RAF Marham.
In the evening, we marked the success of our challenge with a meal at ACE Café in London. The trip had finished and it was time to sit back, take in the journey and the experience.
By Simon Lowther