Published: 3 January 2013
Report: Graham O'Hanlon
On 20 April 2013, a small group of disabled riders will attempt to scale Cadair Idris, one of the tallest mountains in Snowdonia, using specially designed mountain bikes.
The bikes, which are pedalled by hand rather than by foot, have especially low gears which will be essential on the steep and rocky upper slopes of the mountain. During the 10-hour epic, called "Hand-Bikes at Dawn",” the riders will be assisted by a team of climbing and Mountain Rescue specialists who will help them negotiate the difficult stone chutes approaching the summit, and a team of MTB experts will form a guard of honour for the rapid return down the mountain. The aim of the challenge, which is being organised by the 'Challenge your Boundaries' adaptive MTB project, is to raise the profile of adaptive mountain biking within the UK and to raise funds for a number of associated projects and local charities.
The project leader, Graham O’Hanlon, has important news for any hand-cyclists or would-be hand-cyclists who have made a New Years resolution to get fit and get outdoors.
Challenge your Boundaries are seeking an apprentice 'champion' to pilot the Challenge your Boundaries One-Off hand bike up the mountain in April. You don’t need to be an off-roader already (we can help you there) but to build up those arms you do need access to a hand bike or hand-crank exercise machine for training purposes. The ideal rider will be over 18, have the leg flexibility for the kneeling position employed by the One-Off, be able to commit to three, half-day training sessions with us at Coed y Brenin in Southern Snowdonia, have some experience of endurance activities and be able to commit to (and have the discipline and motivation to complete) the extensive strength and endurance training that will be required on your part.
There is no charge for the training sessions, but riders will be subject to the standard bike rental charge (£25 per session), and will be expected to fundraise at least £200 for the Challenge your Boundaries project and supported causes (Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team, “Walking with the Wounded”, Mawddach Rotary Club). If this sounds like you, drop the team a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them about yourself and why you think you should be on the team. Share this if you think your friends might be interested.