Help Michael to pedal again
Michael in his Boma 7 bought with contributions via Gofundme and Access to Work .
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On March 3rd 2013, while taking part in his local Eden Valley sportive, Michael Bonney fell off his bike, just like we all do. Only this time, instead of jumping up and laughing it off, Michael suffered a life changing injury. Attended to by doctors at the scene of the accident, he was then flown by air ambulance to a specialist unit where he was diagnosed with a complete injury to the spinal cord at the C3 vertebrae. The result is that Michael is now tetraplegic - paralysed from the neck down, requiring a ventilator to breathe.
Those of you who know Michael will be aware that he is a key figure in the UK bicycle industry. He steered the ship at Orange Mountain Bikes on a day-to-day basis for more than a decade and has championed many causes, people and ideas; both inside and outside of the cycle business. To all who know him personally or professionally, even to those who just know him by reputation, the news of his accident was devastating.
There is however, a glimmer of good news! 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. From the bleakest of possible outcomes on day one, Michael achieved his goal of sitting upright and operating his motorized wheelchair months ahead of predictions.
He's since go on to be weaned off his ventilator for long periods of time (up to 12 hours a day) amazing his consultants in the process.
Michael gave a great interview to Carlton Reid of the UK’s Bike Biz magazine. Far from dwelling on his situation and highlighting the risks of cycling, this is what he said:
"I don't want anybody to stop riding bikes because they think they might injure themselves. I want people to get out there and ride bikes. I've spent all of my working life getting people excited about bikes and even though spinal injuries happen to cyclists, and especially to mountain bikers, it's very rare. I was unlucky, shit happens. Get out there and ride, for me."
Along the way Guy and Jason will be joined by friends of Michael, Sam Pantling, Dave Smith, Geoff McComb, Joe Whitaker & Mike Summers, will ride with Guy and Jason as they go from Berwick upon Tweed to Stranraer and then Belfast to Portrush, taking in the mountain bike red routes of the 7 Stanes and Northern Ireland trail centres. Over 400 miles of riding with a lot it off road.
Guy met Michael whilst Michael was at Orange Mountain Bikes and has been a supporter of the Ride for Michael trust set up after Michael had a cycling accident which left him tetraplegic and paralysed from the shoulders down. With this ride he’s helping raise funds for the purchase of an FES bike that will allow Michael to pedal again. Any support you can give is appreciated.
Guy and Jason will start the ride on Thursday April 14th and will finish on Sunday 17th April. Each day they will ride approximately 140 miles taking in the red routes of trail centres in Scotland and Northern Ireland.