RAF News

Cyclists around the world support the RAF Community

RAF Association members jump and stand with bikes for group photo.
Cyclists complete the 25, 50, 75 and 100 mile routes at Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire during RAFA Rides 2022.

Over 750 riders from 11 countries united at the RAF Association Rides 2022, to raise more than £90,000 in support of the RAF community.

RAF Association members stand with bikes before Atlas aircraft.
Cyclists take part in RAFA Rides 2022 from RAF Brize Norton.

The RAFA Rides event was founded in 2018 by RAF Association ambassador, Air Vice-Marshal Gary Waterfall.  It has since grown in popularity with both avid and amateur cyclists, as either a virtual or in person cycle across a chosen four distances - ranging from 25 to 100 miles, with elevation ranges of 1,000 to 6,000 ft.

RAF Association members stand with bikes under Las Vegas sign and palm trees.
Cyclists from Creech Air Force Base in Las Vegas representing the USA during RAFA Rides 2022.

"It was an absolutely brilliant day which raised a huge amount of money for a superb charity. I couldn’t recommend it enough to people and have already signed up for next year!"

Group Captain Kilvington

Riders on their bikes.
RAFA Rides finishers 2022.

This year, the event was generously supported by Defence partners, Lockheed Martin UK.  A record 352 riders attended the RAFA organised event, cycling the beautiful and sunny routes of the Leicestershire and Rutland countryside.  Meanwhile a further 400 members of the RAF community joined the effort from afar, virtually cycling from Norway to New Zealand and Saudi to Cyprus.

"Outstanding event and incredible efforts from teams all around the world – a huge well done to everyone who took part, supported, sponsored and made this event such an astounding success!"

Wing Commander Nevin

Rider cycles away from carrier aircraft on the airfield.
Aviator from 51 Squadron at RAF Waddington take part in RAFA Rides.

During the day, live feeds between Leicestershire, RAF stations across the UK and the teams in other countries brought the riders together, despite being dispersed all around the world.

"I continue to be amazed at how this event is growing each year. The support our RAF community shows to those who need a little bit of help is incredible. Once again RAFA Rides can call itself as a truly global event.

I would like to thank everyone involved in the event, from the amazing riders and their families, the volunteers who made the day the success it was and everyone who sponsored riders. In these very difficult financial times it is moving to see people still donating money to a cause dear to them."

Air Vice-Marshal Waterfall
RAF Association ambassador and RAFA Rides founder

Cyclist takes selfie on the bike, followed by other riders.
Air Vice-Marshal Waterfall, RAFA Rides champion and RAFA Ambassador, takes to the roads during the RAFA Rides 2021.

"Thanks to everyone who made this year’s RAFA Rides such a success – again! Next year’s RAFA Rides promises to be even more exciting, so watch this space."

Amy Petterson
Head of Community Fundraising RAF Association

Riders stand with bikes, on the tennis courts by large Rock of Gibraltar.
The team from Gibraltar taking part in RAFA Rides 2021.

In 2023 the RAFA Rides are cycling the grounds of former RAF Cottesmore and Kendrew Barracks; sign up here to participate from anywhere in the world and help raise money for the RAF Community along the way.

Father and daughter riders stand with a bicycle posing.
Grandad, Geoff Fitzjohn, and Grandaughter, Emily, take part in RAFA Rides 2022 on their tandem bicycle.