Published: 27 June 2024

Two South Wales emergency medical technicians have completed a 24-hour cycle ride in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance. 

Joe Witts and Mikey Davey swapped their emergency vehicles to get on their bikes to cycle from Caernarfon Castle in North Wales to Cardiff Castle in South Wales. 

The route saw the men cycle through the heart of Wales, which is ‘around 200 miles long with 3,330m of climbing’ - the equivalent of going up Yr Wyddfa 3.1 times! 

The impressive duo, who completed the nonstop, self-supported ride within 22 hours, smashed their fundraising target of £500 by raising an incredible £1,800. During the challenge the men saw two sunrises and one sunset, whilst clocking off 205 miles.

Last minute they both decided to increase the mileage to 205 miles instead of the 190 miles originally planned.  They did this to add a few more mountain climbs for extra adversity.

Joe said: “The challenge went well, we were fortunate enough not to suffer any mechanical failures with the bikes and escaped any injuries. The challenge took longer than expected due to a change in the route plan. The hardest part of the challenge was the last 10 miles, it was cold and dark and we found the Taff Trail difficult to navigate as we are unfamiliar with the area, but we managed to make it!

“It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, hill after hill. Thanks to everyone who supported us throughout the day and for all the donations we have received. A big thank you to Mike who was the unsung hero of the day, supporting us all the way and making sure we were fed and watered.”

Joe and Mikey had incredible support from their immediate family, who allowed them to get ‘some solid training miles and hours in’ before the challenge. Joe’s family met them in Brecon on their final leg into Cardiff and Mikey’s family were there at the end  of their challenge - at 3am at Cardiff Castle!

Reflecting on why they wanted to take on the challenge, Joe continued: “We chose the Charity because we see the work they do first-hand, as Mikey and I have both worked alongside air ambulance colleagues to provide outstanding pre-hospital care to the people of Wales. 

“We think the service they provide is very valuable here in Wales because of the geography. There are vast distances between some communities and definitive care establishments, so the air ambulance can bring the hospital emergency department to anywhere in Wales which means better outcomes for patients.”  

“During the current financial climate, it was hard asking people to donate their hard-earned money, but we believe that this is a vital cause, and maybe one day they may need to call on the air ambulance’s help.” 

Joe, who lives in the Afan Valley, and Mikey from Swansea both used to be in the army and ‘enjoy adversity and a challenge’.  

Wales Air Ambulance is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and, if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury. For the patient, this can mean hours saved when compared to standard care and is proven to greatly improve survival and early recovery.  

It is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the Charity’s vehicles.   

As a pan-Wales service, the dedicated crews, regardless of where they are based, will travel the length and breadth of the country to deliver emergency lifesaving care. 

Wales Air Ambulance’s Hannah Bartlett said: “The incredible partnership between the Welsh Ambulance Service and Wales Air Ambulance delivers the best possible care for us all.  Mikey and Joe have seen first-hand the hard work that both emergency services do on a daily basis. 

“They have raised an incredible amount of money. The fundraising will help us to meet our £11.2 million target each year to keep our service up and running 24/7 throughout Wales. Thank you to everyone who has supported them  and donated to their fantastic fundraiser.”

Linda Bladen, Locality Manager for Neath Port Talbot said: “Well done to Joe and Mikey for completing their challenge.

“The Wales Air Ambulance charity is such a worthy cause and hopefully, this will inspire others to take up similar challenges.”

There’s still time to show support to Mikey and Joe by donating to their JustGiving page ‘Ride Wales in 24hrs for The Wales Air Ambulance Charitable Trust’.