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07/02/2012 // INFO Leave a comment

Hand cycling team take up London to Paris challenge


Hand Cycling

Disability cycling can be tough, tougher than actual cycling in some cases. People with certain disabilities such as spinal injuries use hand cycles, where the power comes from the arms rather than the legs of an individual as on a bicycle. It requires a lot of upper body strength. 

The sheer physical effort of doing any long ride on a hand cycle is a phenomenal effort especially tough climbs but a group of hand cycling enthusiasts aims to go one step further and take part in a Tour de France stage event alongside competitors on bicycles.

The event & team members

The hand cycling enthusiasts have come together as a team, the Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust team, and will compete in the The London-Paris 2012, a three stage, 520 km ride from London to Paris (from June 21-24) that is run by the HotChillee organisation.

The hand cyclist team includes Jane Sowerby, who competed for Great Britain in the 2010 Paralympics in Ski-racing. Jane was left paralysed from the waist down after a fall broke her back, severing her spinal cord.

“The London-Paris Ride will be an incredible personal challenge for me and I am looking forward to pushing myself to the absolute limit. I am really proud to be able to raise much needed funds to help provide the sports and rehabilitation facility at Stoke Mandeville.  The benefit of sport as part of rehabilitation following a spinal injury is crucial both physically and psychologically,” says Jane.

Alongside her in the Stoke Mandeville team are Daniel Edwards, who participated in the 2010 140-mile ride across the Pennines in a hand cycle, Luke Delahunty, an outdoor activity enthusiast, Daniel Turnbull, a partner at Stewarts Law LLP (who are sponsoring the hand cycle team) and Alan Cook, who has hand-cycled to John O’Groats to Ben Nevis.

All the team will be riding competition built hand cycles with their low gravity to the ground. Competition hand cycles have two coasting rear wheels and one steerable powered front wheel that the legs control.

Support team

The Stoke Mandeville team will consist of a 20-strong peloton, including the five hand cyclists and able bodied assistant riders, Skoda lead vehicle, motorbike outriders, mechanical support and neutral service. Staff from Stoke Mandeville including senior managers, nurses and therapists will also be on hand throughout the event to support the team.

The team aims to raise £500,000 for the Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust, the birthplace of the Paralympics back in 1948 and a Centre of Excellence in spinal medicine.  The money will go towards providing sports facilities, including a sports hall and a hydrotherapy pool.

The Hotchillie London-Paris

The Hotchillie London-Paris cycling event is recognised as the closest an amateur rider can get to the Tour de France experience. Apart from motorbike outriders, rolling road closures in France and professional logistical back up, the London-Paris is only one of  two multi stage cycling events granted road closures to the finish in the centre of the French capital – the other is the Tour de France.

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See also

Transport charities call for cycle specific funding

Do people turn a blind eye to bicycle theft?

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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