Pensioner ready to take on 100-mile cycling challenge

GEARING UP Norman Hand, right, is doing the 100-mile cycle for his wife Cindy, who has tinnitus
GEARING UP Norman Hand, right, is doing the 100-mile cycle for his wife Cindy, who has tinnitus
Portsmouth Guildhall Picture: Garth Groombridge

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A 70-year-old man is gearing up to cycle 100 miles to raise money for the British Tinnitus Association (BTA).

Norman Hand, from Waterlooville, has only been cycling for a few years but decided to take on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 after his wife, Cindy, experienced tinnitus and hyperacusis – an extreme aversion to sound.

He said: ‘The quality of Cindy’s life changed dramatically following a holiday in 1999.

‘We went to a Turkish live entertainment concert where we sat close to one of the loud speakers without realising the impact this was going to have.

‘Cindy walked away with loud noises in her ears. The next morning when she woke, the buzzing noise was much louder with feelings of intense pressure in both ears and she was in total panic.

‘These loud noises, which can include buzzing, humming and hissing, are still here today 24/7.’

Cindy is unable to tolerate normal everyday sounds such as people chattering, clanging of dishes, clapping, emergency vehicle sirens or alarms.

Following her retirement, she has now become secretary for the South East Hampshire Tinnitus Support Group.

Norman added: ‘As there is no current medical cure for tinnitus, the BTA are working hard raising funds for ongoing medical research to ultimately seek a cure, as well as providing much-needed support to individuals to help manage their condition and training for professionals.’

The 100-mile challenge takes place on August 2 and starts at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The route follows roads through the capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside before finishing at The Mall.

Speaking about the upcoming challenge, he said: ‘I train regularly and enter a few sportives during the season.

‘I’ve taken part in just one previous event that was 100 miles, finishing in less than six hours, but I think RideLondon may take a little longer due to the number of participants and, of course, those Surrey hills.’

To support Norman, visit justgiving.com/Norman-Hand.

For more information on the support group: sehants-tinnitus.org. alfiedog.com.