‘Wheels for Heroes’, a scheme launched by Brompton Bike Hire, lends bikes to NHS workers to provide a safer way to travel during the pandemic.
Brompton committed to producing £100,000 worth of bikes, and, at the time of writing, now they have a further £344k raised through crowdfunding. To give the campaign a bit of a boost, celebrity sports stars such as Chris Froome and Kevin Pietersen took part in a virtual race on Sky Sports over the weekend.
The race took place at a simulated Sky Sports arena, around a 22km “volcanic circuit”. Each celebrity rider set off on the course (via their exercise bikes) to be chased by four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome. A big game of cat and mouse, in other words. The “mice” included Kevin Pietersen, Maro Itoje, Kirsty Gallacher, Mel C, Lee Westwood, Ryan Giggs, Olly Murs, Andrew Flintoff, Steph Houghton and Darren Gough.
The initial crowdfunding scheme began in April and set out with the aim to provide 1,000 new bikes for NHS workers that have worked fearlessly through the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to Sky Sports’ race featuring big names, the target has stretched to building permanent bike dock stations at hospitals for staff.
Over 2,000 NHS staff have signed up to the biking scheme, with 500 bikes already in use. ‘Wheels for Heroes’ hopes to provide as many as possible with the funds raised for the scheme, creating low-cost, efficient travel for key workers.