THEY biked 500 miles. And after a pint and some grub they biked 100 more.

Oxford surgeons James Ramsden and Mahmood Bhutta have joined 10 of the county’s top paediatricians in a mammoth cycle ride from Glasgow to London, stopping off at the UK’s leading children’s hospitals along the way.

The team’s goal is to raise £32,000 for charity Lifebox and put a pulse oximeter into every operating theatre in Malawi, raising the level of safe surgical care for the whole country.

Lifebox helps to distribute the oxygen monitors to hospitals where surgery is taking place without the crucial checks. So far the group has raised £13,865.

On September 18 they stopped off at the John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital, where the Oxford Mail caught up with them after a 99-mile ride from Bristol.

Mr Ramsden is an ear, nose and throat (ENT) consultant and honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford ENT department, and has worked at the John Radcliffe since his student days.

The 42-year-old said: “I got involved after a colleague from Great Ormond Street told me about it. It seemed hugely worthy so I thought I’d just go for it.

“The summer stopped just as we got going, so the weather hasn’t helped. People have been hugely supportive along the way, The pulse oximeters are vital and they are the kind of thing that you’ll find in every children’s hospital in the UK, but hardly anywhere in Africa.”

The Watlington resident said he and Mr Bhutta trained about three or four nights a week, but decided not to go “all out” until the ride.

Also taking part are members of the British Association of Paediatric Otolaryngology, children’s ENT surgeons, from Manchester Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street, Bristol Children’s Hospital, Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Belfast Children’s Hospital.

There is also a paediatric ENT surgeon from Israel in the team.