A cycling club in Bristol is celebrating a fundraising milestone after collecting more than £40,000 for Action Medical Research.
‘BS10’ was created in 2015 by Kevin Dunn, a married father-of-two from the city. Growing up, the modest 38-year-old was a fan of most sports and can boast not only having a trial at ‘Bristol City’ but he has also represented ‘Bristol Saracens’ on the rugby pitch. Kevin spoke with Action to talk about his motivation to help the charity, his love of sport and why chickens crossing the road never leave him smiling.
When did you first get interested in cycling?
I’ve always been a fan of sports; growing up I was into my football, rugby, martial arts and even water skiing! I think I would have been about 8-years-old when I got my first road bike and because I was such an active kid, I just loved it!
Why did you set up BS10?
As I started to spend more of my free time on two wheels, I thought it would be fun to meet like-minded people. I set up a Facebook group in 2014 which attracted a few friends and then friends of friends. When it started to get more popular I was able to secure sponsorship from local businesses to help fund the design and manufacture process of our club kit, which is made by Castelli in Italy. We now have 108 members.
What prompted you to start helping Action?
When our youngest daughter Aimee was born she had a few complications that led to her being in intensive care. We were one of the lucky ones that left with our child. It is terribly sad when you know and get to know people that don't. I became aware of the charity and its purpose to help fund research into a range of childhood illnesses and felt I had to do something - no matter how small - to try and help.
Aside from setting up the club, we understand you’ve enjoyed a lot of success in cycling.
Well I suppose I’ve been very lucky. I was asked to become a ‘Cycling Ambassador’ for Action in January 2015 which was a real honour. I also help raise funds for local sports clubs near Bristol and as part of that went with a group of cyclists to the Velodrome in Newport last year. I did a two lap sprint and got noticed by a few cycling bigwigs. I ended up getting signed to Pete Mitchell’s Black Line Racing Team and have subsequently competed for Great Britain at the UCI World Masters in October 2016. Subject to funding, I’m hoping to go to the National European and World Masters Track Cycling Championships later this year in France and Los Angeles respectively.
How many fundraising events have you taken part in for Action Medical Research?
Last year we did the London to Paris bike ride and then carried on to Geneva to help create more interest in Action cycling events. As a club we are fundraising all year round and usually have a few members taking part in some of the many cycling events the charity organises annually.
With all your cycling experience, have you ever had any mishaps while training or competing?
A couple of years ago I was taking part in a 100 mile ride around Bath when – 73 miles in – a chicken ran out in front of me! My front wheel locked and I somersaulted over the handlebars. I finished the ride OK but later found out I’d suffered a second degree concussion. I’ve never been so pleased to have been wearing a helmet!
Have you got any future fundraising challenges on the horizon?
Absolutely, yes! There’s a few of us riding the ‘Action London to Paris’ this year from 19 July – 23 July. Some of our members will also be taking on the challenge in 2018. I’m delighted that we have reached this £40k milestone, but I just want to keep going and see how much more we can raise for Action Medical Research.