How cyclists can donate £1 a ride to boost life-saving Peak District rescue team after busiest year

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How much fun is it to ride your mountain bike in the Peak District? Is it more exciting than half a cup of coffee?

"Us bikers as a rule love a cafe stop or a pint at the end of a ride. For less than half a coffee or beer you can donate a quid to the local Mountain Rescue team, whether it be Edale, Woodhead or your local team. Give a quid and hopefully you won't need them in the future!”

So says Rob Jackson, who runs Bike Revive cycle repairs from his base in Crookes. Rob was carried off Stanage by Edale MRT last year after a leg-breaking fall from his mountain bike, and has now launched his "A Quid a Ride" campaign ( asking cyclists to help the local volunteers on call ever day around the Outdoor City.

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“It’s always reassuring to know if anything happened to me or a member of my family that professional and experienced Mountain Rescue teams are always at hand,” said local walker and cyclist Jim Barton, who says it was the experience of how Edale MRT probably saved a friend’s life after a biking accident that made him understand the importance of local Mountain Rescue teams.

Sam Jackson (3) makes a donation to Edale Mountain Rescue in his dad Rob's collection tin.Sam Jackson (3) makes a donation to Edale Mountain Rescue in his dad Rob's collection tin.
Sam Jackson (3) makes a donation to Edale Mountain Rescue in his dad Rob's collection tin.

“Entirely funded through fundraising, and with Edale being one of the busiest teams in the country, the Quid a Ride initiative is a great way to support Mountain Rescue with small and regular donations to ensure the service can continue to support the public.”

Edale team leader Dave Torr says the pandemic year of 2020 was a record for call outs after 65 years for Edale, with 158 incidents attended (the average over the team’s 65 years working the Peak District hills and across Sheffield and Chesterfield has usually been about 125).

With training carried out by Zoom, attendance for injuries using PPE and new equipment and cleaning requirements, the extra Covid 19 costs for Edale were over £12,000, and Dave said there was a clear rise in people visiting the outdoors. “But people need educating on what to wear, and what to take with them, just in case,” he says.

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“We advocate that you take everything with you to cope with the worst case scenario that you could imagine, and always do activities to the limit of the weakest member of your party.”

Edale Mountain Rescue fundraising in Edale.Edale Mountain Rescue fundraising in Edale.
Edale Mountain Rescue fundraising in Edale.

Learn to read a map and use a compass, (which can actually be fun, he says), not least because phone battery failure is a common feature when the team are trying to locate you.

Carry spare clothing and food and drink, a torch with spare batteries, a power bank for your phone, a shelter, even if it’s just a large bin bag, and wear the right clothing for the conditions, remembering that it gets much colder as you head up the hills.

And when you do head out, he says, follow the country code, respect the local environment and in particular: “Please park with due consideration for emergency vehicles accessing moorland and urban tracks.

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The team invested in several signs to place at hot spot areas where people were known to park and block access.”

Rob Jackson at his Bike Revive workshop.Rob Jackson at his Bike Revive workshop.
Rob Jackson at his Bike Revive workshop.

The team’s members come from all walks of life, said Dave, including plumbers, teachers, retired people, engineers, and IT professionals, along with several doctors, nurses, and paramedics.

He added that new prospective members are always welcome, and can apply to start their 18 months training at:

Rob Jackson recalled his own encounter with the team: after falling over his handlebars, he “heard a crack and felt a searing heat up my leg, and when I looked down my foot was 90 degrees to where it should be.

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"My initial thought was: ‘How the hell am I getting off here? My wife is heavily pregnant and I'm stuck!’ Luckily some climbers rang Edale MRT and I was mobbed by the team within 30 minutes!”

Now, he says he hopes never to need them again. “But I’d ask riders to donate a quid a ride to help Edale MRT continue with their amazing work.”

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