A FATHER-OF-THREE is about to tackle a gruelling off-road bike ride for charity – despite only recently suffering a severe spinal injury.
Dan Pickles, 24, will be taking on the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) London to Brighton challenge on September 24 to raise vital funds in the fight against heart disease.
The 75 mile course will see him navigating tricky technical descents and rocky paths.
Dan, of Middle Park Way, Leigh Park, is recovering from a spinal injury from 2014, which resulted in nine months of intense physiotherapy.
After originally being told he would never ride again, he is now proving medics wrong and has chosen to celebrate by cycling in aid of the BHF.
Dan explained: ‘In the summer of 2014 two discs in my back slipped.
‘Even with nine tough months of physiotherapy I was eventually rushed to hospital for a discectomy.
‘The surgery was a success but I have since worn away a further five discs and I live in constant pain.
‘Riding my bike was something I enjoyed from a young age so when I was told that I was unlikely to ride again, I was devastated. But I was determined to prove people wrong.
‘As well as cycling being far less painful than walking, it was a reason to get out and start exercising in the great outdoors again.
‘I’m gradually building up to the full 75 miles in my training but I know that due to my condition, I’ll be one of the slowest there.
‘It doesn’t matter for me – the great thing about the event is that it’s suitable for all abilities and isn’t a race.
‘It’s also my birthday two days before the bike ride and to have my friends and family at the end cheering me on will be the best present I could ask for after such a tough two years.’
To sponsor Dan go to justgiving.com/fundraising/danpickles.
To register for the ride and to find out about other challenges go to bhf.org.uk.