Photo, L-R: Air ambulance doctor Richard Lyon, Simon Kroner and paramedic Adam Ormrod
An Ashford cyclist is gearing up for a 460-mile bike ride from Edinburgh to London next month in aid of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.
Ashford Rotary Club President Simon Kroner will set off from Buckingham Palace on September 17th and will be aiming to reach Edinburgh Castle in just five days.
The 51-year-old civil servant has already completed 1,000 miles in training and will be joined on the ride by friend James Bellingham.
Simon chose to support the air ambulance during his year as president following a presentation from one of the charity's volunteers.
He said: "I have always been impressed by the service that the air ambulance provides for people in their hour of need. They have no Government funding and rely on donations from the public.
"The service they provide for the sick and injured and in getting them to hospital rapidly cannot be underestimated.
"The two accidents that the air ambulance attended at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey just reinforced my desire to support them as much as possible.
"Fortunately, I don't know anyone who has been airlifted but I have seen the helicopter in operation a couple of times.
"I was out on a ride once when I saw a cyclist come off and break his collarbone and because of his rural location, he needed the air ambulance."
Simon and James will pedal all the way from London to Leicester (114 miles) on the first day of the Edinburgh to London Cycle Challenge, flanked by Simon's wife in a support vehicle.
On day two, they will be aiming to reach Tadcaster near York, followed by Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales (day three), Langholm on the Scottish border (day four), and finally Edinburgh Castle.
In 2001, Simon successfully completed a 300-mile bike ride from Lands End to Ashford over five days.
He added: "The bottom line is that I know I can go out and do 100 miles at the drop of a hat but it's doing 100 miles on five consecutive days that is more challenging.
"I recently did 400 miles in four days just to become accustomed to such a big ride."
Simon has so far raised £280 of his £1,000 target and can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-kroner1