South West Region

Cadets battle the weather on first Silver Duke of Edinburgh biking expedition!

Five RAF Air Cadets from 2328 (Bishop’s Cleeve) Squadron just completed Bristol and Gloucestershire Wing’s first Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award cycle expedition in living memory.

After training and practice expedition weekends in the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean, the cadets’ assessed expedition involved cycling a three-day mainly off-road route from Chippenham to Goring-on-Thames covering 122 kilometres that included sections of the historic Ridgeway.

The training and expeditions, organised by Civilian Instructor Raphael L’Hoste of 2328 (Bishop’s Cleeve) Sqn and kindly independently assessed by Pilot Officer Kim Norris from Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wing, proved a real challenge. At times, particularly during a day of rain, the cadets learned the importance of teamwork. All five cadets successfully completed the route carrying their camping equipment and will hopefully achieve their Silver Awards in the near future. No doubt, based on their experiences, they will give some thought to the mode of travel for their Gold Expedition.

The expedition equipment, including mountain bikes, trailers and trackers were obtained by 2328 Squadron’s Civilian Committee through generous grants from the National Lottery and Tewkesbury Borough and Bishop’s Cleeve Parish Councils. It enabled 2328 to offer an alternative to the usual foot expeditions. Some of the trackers were utilised by Bristol and Gloucestershire Wing to supervise cadets on other Bronze and Silver expeditions on the same weekend.

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