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University Air Squadron gets a handle on bike maintenance

Published: 08 Dec 2016

A team of six from the East Midlands Universities' Air Squadron (EMUAS) had the chance to get their hands dirty when they embarked on a two-day bike maintenance course.

Following the purchase of 10 specialised road bikes, which were part-funded by the RAF Charitable Trust, Trustees approved an additional grant of £528 to help finance the upkeep of the bikes through a training programme.

The course, provided by Mountain Bike Coaching UK (MBCUK), enabled the team to carry out regular inspections and taught them how to do various repairs on the bikes, enhancing the safety of their riders. Upon completion of the course, each student received an IAO Level 3 Certificate in Cycle Maintenance (QCF).

Acting Pilot Officer Oliver McMullan said: "Enabling the team to carry out their own bike maintenance is the most cost-effective way of ensuring our bikes are safe and legally maintained. Regular bike maintenance, provided by EMUAS students, will prolong the life of our Road Bike fleet."

Earlier this year, member of EMUAS completed a 760km ride, cycling from North Yorkshire to Portsmouth in just 10 days, raising vital funds for The Jon Egging Trust. Oliver continued: "One of the main functions of these bikes is to raise money and awareness for selected charities, including the RAF Charitable Trust. Each bike requires a full service after every charity cycle we perform, costing roughly £100 per bike if we take it to a bike shop, which amounts to thousands of pounds per year. Having our own maintenance team will allow us to participate in more charity cycle events into the future."

As well as charity fundraising events, the bikes are also used for cycle-based expeditions, allowing the squadron to provide valuable and varied training in line with the University Air Squadron syllabus.

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