Date published: 29 March 2023

When Chris Gerrard suffered a terrible cycling accident, Wales Air Ambulance flew to his aid.

Whilst visiting Wales on a five-day cycling tour in 2015, Chris Gerrard was left fighting for his life.

During day two of the cycle, Chris rode over a faulty cattle grid just outside Machynlleth, leaving him with life threatening injuries.

Chris, from Cheshire, sustained a bleed to the brain and required critical care intervention from the Welsh Flying Medics onboard Wales Air Ambulance. On arrival, Dr Matt O’Meara was informed that Chris was taking blood thinning tablets.

Chris said: “At the time of the accident, I was on warfarin - a blood thinning agent. When on this medication, any type of bleed can be much more serious, especially a bleed to the brain. 

“One of my friends told the medics about my medication. Thankfully the Wales Air Ambulance are highly trained and carry additional equipment to what you’d see on a road ambulance. This included a coagulation agent which enables blood to clot. 

“Without this treatment at the scene, I wouldn’t be here”.

Chris was flown to Royal Stoke hospital and spent around eight weeks in hospital before returning home to Macclesfield.

He said: “Had I not been unconscious, I’d have been terrified about being in a helicopter.”

The accident has left Chris with some permanent injuries, such as the loss of sight in his right eye and no sense of smell, but he is extremely grateful to those who helped him that awful day.

He said: “I owe my life to the Wales Air Ambulance; I will forever be grateful to Dr Matt and the team.”

To give back to the charity that helped him, Chris, aged 68, has decided to complete a 234-mile bike ride to raise vital funds.

Dave Bentley, Anthony Jackson, Wayne and Debbie Maxwell were with Chris when the accident happened back in 2015 and will take to the saddle alongside Chris on this epic challenge. They will also be joined by new members of the Prestbury Wheelers and Pushers, Nathan Scott, Rahim Hakimi, Howard and Georgie Phillips, Rob and Claire Thorneycroft and Will Jung.

The ride is scheduled to start on Saturday 17 June 2023 in Welshpool and finish on Wednesday 21 June in Macclesfield. The group will stop at a number of locations such as Bettws Cedewain, Machynlleth, Barmouth and Caernarfon. This is the same route as was planned back in 2015.

Chris said: “The reason we chose this route back then was that we wanted to experience the ride along the Mawddach trail and down into Barmouth. We constructed a three-day ride initially but have added on some additional miles to cycle the whole way home. 

Dr Matt O’Meara, a Critical Care Consultant onboard Wales Air Ambulance said: "It was remarkable to see what a recovery Chris made after his accident. We met him in the back of a land ambulance which got to him shortly before us and I remember thinking how poorly he was. True to Welsh weather, the heavens opened on us all shortly before we prepared Chris for the journey in the helicopter, and I remember thinking how poorly Chris was. I had the privilege of meeting Chris and his wife when they came to visit the Welshpool airbase and it is fabulous that he is back to full pace on his bike."

The Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £8 million every year to keep its helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the road.

Chris said: “This cycle is a tribute to Wales Air Ambulance, and I aim to raise much needed funds for them. 

“We need this service. One day it may be you or someone you know who is saved. You don’t have to be cycling or doing anything particularly risky to be severely injured. Please support this service and donate to our challenge.”

Jane Griffiths, Community Fundraising Manager for Wales Air Ambulance said: “We are extremely grateful to Chris and his friends for taking on this challenge for us. This isn’t an easy task for anyone, but to get back on his bike and raise funds for us is truly inspiring. Good luck to those taking part and thank you.”

To donate to Chris’ challenge, please visit