A Horley surgeon was among a dozen-strong group of surgeons who completed a 522-mile charity bike ride to their annual conference in Scotland.

Paul Norris and his fellow riders, all cycling under the title of the KSS Wheelers, spent a total of 45 hours in the saddle as they pedalled all the way from the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead to Edinburgh - in just six days.

They were riding in aid of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, which is based at Redhill and in Marden, Kent.


En route they tackled the North Downs, were escorted through the Dartford Tunnel on the back of a Highways Agency pick-up truck, faced stubborn headwinds, thunderstorms and hail.

Team leader Jeremy Collyer, from Horsham, said: “Day five took us over the Pennines, again into headwinds, stopping briefly for a cup of coffee at Allston before travelling on to Gretna for the final overnight stop.

“The last day was arguably the toughest on paper, but the good weather smiled upon us and made it easier than the climbing statistics would account for.”

The KSS Wheelers cycled up hills totalling 25,541ft, before finally joining 500 delegates at the three-day British Association of Maxillofacial Surgeons' conference.

Most of the team are maxillofacial surgeons – a specialisation of dentistry addressing problems around the mouth, jaw and neck - based at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, and the Royal Surrey County Hospital at Guildford.

Joining Paul and Jeremy were surgeons from Guildford, East Grinstead, London, Esher, Haywards Heath, Crowborough and Great Bookham.

The KSS Wheelers have so far raised £5,587 of their £10,000 target, and can still be sponsored online at: www.justgiving.com/qvh-edinburgh The air ambulance service in Kent, Surrey and Sussex costs around £6 million annually to stay airborne and receives no funding from the National Lottery, relying instead almost entirely upon donations from the public.