SUPER cyclist Michael Maddison is gearing up to take part in a huge cycle race to prove there is life after stroke.
The 67-year-old, from Gosport, was left with balance problems and weakness in the right side of his body following the stroke four years ago.
But thanks to intense physiotherapy and the support of the Stroke Association, he has gone on to cycle more than 4,500 miles.
And in October he will take part in the Stroke Association’s Thames Bridges Bike Ride to raise money for the charity he says he owes his recovery to.
Michael said: ‘I was fairly fit at the time of my stroke which I think helped with my recovery.
‘Within four months I was back on my beloved bike, and I discovered that my balance problems seemed better when I was riding.’
Michael joined a nearby Stroke Association voluntary support group in Stubbington where he met other stroke survivors and carers.
Michael said: ‘Joining the group was a huge turning point in my recovery.
‘I realised I wasn’t alone and speaking to other stroke survivors really helped me.
‘I now volunteer at the support group in Stubbington and really enjoy it.
‘We go on day trips, play games, have conversations, and there’s always cake involved.’
Thames Bridges Bike Ride 2017 will start at Kings House Sports Ground in Chiswick and participants can take part in a 55, 35 or eight-mile circular route.
Each route will lead you through London taking in world-famous landmarks, crossing the Thames bridges.
Michael added: ‘Last year I set myself the target to ride 4,500 miles, and I did it.
‘But I couldn’t have done it without the amazing support of the Stroke Association, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and the treatment I received at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth.
‘I wanted to do something to say thank you to everyone who’s been there for me in my recovery.’
To sponsor Michael, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-maddison6.