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Friday, 31 October 2014

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New cycle race inspired by Penrith crash victim

A fundraising cycle race is taking place through Cumbria in honour of a cyclist who was left paralysed after coming off his bike.

Michael Bonney photo
Michael Bonney

Michael Bonney of Penrith suffered a severed spinal cord in the accident at a race in the Eden Valley in March. He was left paralysed from the neck down and now relies on a ventilator to help him breathe.

A few weeks after the accident he married his long-term partner Linzi at a ceremony which took place by Michael’s bedside at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he is receiving treatment.

The cycling community has rallied round to stage a 60-mile race, the ‘Ride for Michael Bonney Cycle Sportive’, from Penrith Leisure Centre on September 29.

All proceeds will go towards the Michael Bonney fund and the Epic Kidz charity which supports volunteer groups in the north west.

The race route heads south towards Orton village before looping north to Appleby and then homeward through Dufton, Milburn and Langwathby.

Organisers Epic Events describe the course as “undulating” but it “does not climb any major hills or mountains”.

They add: “The roads are very quiet, super scenic and well worth the trip – protective helmets are compulsory.”

Michael, the 54-year-old managing director of Orange Mountain Bikes, has made remarkable progress in his recovery.

A spokesperson for Epic Events said: “Michael is a man with more determination and gusto than most.

“In the weeks following his accident he has progressed considerably faster than any of the medical staff would have predicted.

“Each goal he achieves is the starting point to his next target.

“We want to spread the word through the ‘Ride for Michael Bonney’ campaign – we have big plans and we want people to get out on their bikes for all kinds of reasons, not just for Michael.”

For more information about the race visit http://www.epicevents.co.uk/cycle-sportives/the-ride-for-michael-bonney-cycle-sportive-sunday-september-29th-2013.html

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