Global defence technology company, Lockheed Martin, has announced its continued support for the RAF Association’s annual global cycling event, RAFA Rides.

Lockheed Martin has supported RAFA Rides since 2019, making this the sixth year that the company has been the headline sponsor.

­Paul Livingston, Chief Executive for Lockheed Martin UK, said:­ “I think RAFA Rides is truly unique­ in­ terms of the way it brings people together and raises money – but also enables a real connection to the RAF family.”

The first RAFA Rides event took place in 2018. Since then, over 3,200 people have taken part uniting Air Force communities locally and internationally and creating a strong global community of cyclists that has raised over £450,000 for those in need.

Rachel Huxford, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for the RAF Association, said: “RAFA Rides not only fosters a deep sense of connection between riders, but it helps people to improve their overall physical and mental wellbeing by encouraging them to invest in their health and fitness whilst raising money to help fund the Association’s vital welfare work.

“Lockheed Martin is a longstanding supporter of the RAF Association who share our mission to improve the lives of those who serve and have served in the RAF and their families.”

In 2024, there are more ways than ever for participants to take part in RAFA Rides. Not only is the event returning for a second year to Kendrew Barracks, but this year cyclists also have the unique option of joining rides at two of the RAF’s most prolific stations, RAF Brize Norton and RAF Marham.

Cyclists can also take part from wherever they are in the world by signing up for RAFA Rides Your Way or the global Zwift event.

The RAFA Rides season will begin at RAF Marham on Sunday 2 June, followed by RAF Brize Norton on 8 June and the Kendrew Barracks sportive and global Zwift ride on Saturday 15 June.

“The event itself and the camaraderie is brilliant,” says Paul. “It’s not just people riding around Rutland, it’s people riding in their garages, riding on air bases around the world. It’s a whole community coming together to support the RAF Association.”

For anyone considering signing up to RAFA Rides this year, Paul has the following message: “Employees from Lockheed Martin have attended many times now. Stop thinking and start signing. Just get on with it. It’s a brilliant day, you’ll have fun, you’ll ride with some great people and hopefully the sun will even shine for you.”

Last year over 1,000 cyclists from all over the world took part in RAFA Rides events, raising over £110,000 for the Association.

Find out more about RAFA Rides 2024 and sign up here.

John Bell pictured on his 100th birthday with his daughter

RAFA Rides 2024

RAFA Rides connects RAF personnel and supporters from around the world, with one ambition: to support the RAF community.