BUS drivers and cyclists are not normally the best of friends, but nine Oxford Bus Company employees swapped four wheels for two – and cycled to Cambridge for a good cause.

The team took part in the 89-mile-long Oxford to Cambridge Bike Ride, for the British Heart Foundation on Sunday.

They set off from Gloucester Green at 7am and crossed the finish line five-and-a-half hours later – and hope to have raised £1,000.

Team leader Dron Kyle, 43, a project manager at the firm’s Cowley House headquarters, said: “We had been out most weekends, building up the miles to be ready.

“Even though it is the first official race we have entered, three of us did practice a few weeks ago with the aptly named ‘Hell of the North’ event, in the North Pennines.It was a gruelling preparation, but it was harder on Sunday because of the weather. We got absolutely soaked. We were cold. The rain was right in our face at some points, and there were strong cross-winds, which are a cyclist’s nightmare.”

It is the first time the company has had a cycling team, but Mr Kyle, from South Avenue, Kidlington, said he wanted to organise four fundraising rides each year.

He said: “It is hard to get us together, because we are all bus drivers or backroom staff and work different shifts.”

Coach driver Geoff High, took part just a week after cycling 874 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in nine days for Sobell House Hospice.

Oxford Bus Company’s operations director, Louisa Weeks, said: “It is often claimed that bus drivers and cyclists do not really understand each other, so I hope our team has dispelled that.

“We are very proud of the commitment the team has shown, and even though some people may have difficulty with the concept of bus drivers in Lycra, we have been delighted to sponsor their eye-catching kit.”