A member of the Masonic order Sarn Helen who was treated by the Wales Air Ambulance is to host a cycle event to thank the lifesaving charity.

Nicolas Sawyer, Sarn Helen Treasurer, needed the assistance of Wales Air Ambulance in 2006 following a back injury whilst sailing. Nick was flown from Ynys Lochtyn to Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth where he remained for a week.

To give back to the charity that helped him, Nicolas, from Aberaeron, came up with the idea of the Pelican Peloton.

The Pelican Peloton is a relay cycle event across the Roman road Sarn Helen, split into different stages. Each stage is approximately 20 miles in distance and entrants can choose to cycle one stage or five. Sarn Helen requires the coordination and cooperation of three districts of Rose Croix masonic orders (Dyfed, South Wales and North Wales) for the event to take place.  

With two different routes to choose from, participants can either take part in segments of stage 1 to 5 starting at Conwy castle and finishing in Aberaeron, or stages 6 to10 which begins its route from Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli. The team of cyclists will converge at Aberaeron.

The challenge will take place on Sunday 22nd May. To sign up, visit https://dyfedrosecroix.com/pelican-peloton/ and download the registration form. Entry costs £18 for adults or is free for under 18s.

The event is extra special to Nicholas. He said “Eighteen years ago I was laying on a beach in West Wales suffering from a back injury incurred on a sailing trip from Aberaeron to Ynys Lochtyn. Wales Air Ambulance was called and I was airlifted to Aberystwyth where I was treated for a week in hospital. I have suffered back pain since then, but am eternally grateful to the Charity for rescuing me. I see this event as an opportunity to repay my debt.

“The Pelican Peloton is planned to celebrate the ancient Celtic/Roman road Sarn Helen, which spans Wales from North to South. We are inviting cyclists of all ages, gender and skill levels to cover the whole route in 20-mile stages to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance. The event will take place on St Elen’s Day (22/05/22) after whom the roads are named after.

“Our local chapter in Aberaeron of the Rose Croix order of the “Knights of the Pelican and Eagle” is named the Sarn Helen Chapter and as we identify with this iconic road (causeway or sarn), we believe that it provides an excellent venue for recreation and recognition of its antiquity. We hope cyclists will see the event as an opportunity to support Wales Air Ambulance. We never know when or where unavoidable accidents are going to happen and any of us may need urgent medical assistance, especially in rural Wales.”

Helen Pruett, the Charity’s Community Fundraiser for South Powys and South Ceredigion said “It is humbling to hear that someone who needed the help of the Charity is fundraising for us. Nicolas and members of Sarn Helen have put a lot of work into making this event happen, for which we are truly grateful. Good luck to those who are taking part and thank you.”

For more information, please email [email protected]