Mike Brampton is managing director of Thames Medical; he lectures at Nottingham veterinary school on blood pressure and anaesthesia application and monitoring techniques. During May and June he is cycling from Worthing to Stirling to raise money for Canine Partners by delivering CPD to veterinary practices along the way.
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How did you come up with the idea of cycling from Worthing to Stirling?
Long distance cycling is something I like to do. Worthing was initially chosen as the start point because that is where Thames Medical is based, although the trip has now been extended by a week, so it is from the West Country to Stirling, via Worthing. Stirling was chosen because one of the first organisations who committed to the event was the charity Vet Trust and I am lecturing at its conference, which is in Stirling, although I am happy to carry on to Aberdeen or Inverness if asked.
How many miles a day will you travel?
Daily mileage will be between 60 and 80, leading to a total of about 1300 miles.
Have you ever cycled so far before?
I have been doing crazy rides like this for a few years now since I started cycling 14 years ago. I generally race on the road and at the velodrome, to a reasonable level, although I was knocked out of the National Kierin Championships three years ago by the reigning Olympic and World Champion, Sir Chris Hoy. I have raced the Le Mans 24-hour with a teammate, finishing seventh and covering 496 miles, and two years ago I helped the Onswitch team ride from Inverness to Brighton in three days. I have had 18 months off through injury, but following surgery I am looking to get back in the saddle and the ‘Tour De Vet’ gives me a good excuse, although this is the first time I will be towing a trailer and be self-supporting.
What CPD will you be providing?
Originally I was planning on doing the hands-on practical ‘How to take blood pressure on cats’ that I teach on the Nottingham vet course. Then the College of Animal Welfare asked if it could be involved and booked me for a day, so we decided to do a day of ‘Anaesthesia is fun’ lectures and practicals, playing with the various parameters and monitors used.
How many stops are you making?
We have nine dates firmly booked and we are talking with a couple more practices, but this still leaves a number of opportunities. One practice has turned the concept on its head and is promoting Canine Partners, getting clients involved and using the event – and my arrival – as something to highlight the extra/advanced skills they are investing in to benefit their clients. It's an easy and proactive way to get some CPD, have some fun and raise money, while raising their profile in their local community . . . a real win/win.
Is it just for vets or nurses too?
I am happy working with vets as well as nurses; it is sometimes surprising what we all forget, myself included, so it is always good to challenge and freshen our knowledge on things like blood pressure or capnography. I know I learn something every time I teach. I was shown a new way to hold a CAT Doppler probe a couple of weeks ago . . . and I invented it!
Why Canine Partners?
I had seen some of the stuff Canine Partners do in the past, and find it inspirational. I like the veterinary/animal/human collaboration, too. When I contacted them with this idea they were very proactive and positive in their support. I visited their headquarters and met some of the people involved and was privileged to meet a few of the people who have trained dogs. It's inspirational stuff, and the love and bond between them all is tangible.
How are you getting home?
Great question! I haven't really thought about that yet; maybe I'll keep going! Maybe by train – who knows? – maybe by bike.
▪ Anyone wanting to sponsor Mike's ride can visit www.justgiving.com/Tour-De-Vet
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