In 2016, following a massive £52,000 fundraising effort including a very generous donation from Morrison's, we were able to purchase a new fleet of 4 Yamaha FJR1300 bikes. We would like to thank everyone who donated to our cause enabling us to achieve this fantastic target. With 4 brand new and reliable bikes, we are now much better placed to meet current demands and to start increasing the amount of work we do for the NHS.
The bikes are standard road machines at purchase and are then prepared specifically in advance of going into operational service. First, they are fitted with hi-viz decals to give us more visibility and presence on the road. Blue lights are fitted front and back. A satellite navigation system is fitted to ensure we get to where we need to go as efficiently as possible when on a call out. Finally a large tray/platform is fitted on the rear of the machine maximising carrying capacity - this in addition to the panniers which are fitted as standard by the manufacturer. All of the containers used for carrying samples also have to comply with an International safety standard (UN3373). Yamaha have been very supportive of the Blood Bikes community and carried out extensive testing of the sorts of loads that are typically carried on the rear carrier and in the panniers to ensure there are no stability problems. When the work is completed, the bike is then handed over to our group and is ready to be deployed on any task set for us by the NHS.
As well as the 4 bikes, we also lease a Skoda Octavia Scout. This is used on a regular run to take blood and plasma to the Air Ambulance at RAF Cosford and the MERIT team based in Oldbury as part of the RePHILL clinical trial. The car also means that if the weather gets too dangerous for bikes to be on the road, we can contine to offer our services to the NHS whatever the weather. Like the bikes, the car is fully liveried and fitted with blue lights.