Gloucestershire cyclists pedal 100 miles for global humanitarian and war hero Leonard Cheshire’s 100th birthday

21 March 2017

The cyclists on their 100-mile challengeGloucestershire cyclists of all ages and abilities came together in a 100-mile challenge in honour of war hero and global humanitarian Leonard Cheshire’s 100th birthday.

Organised by Leonard Cheshire Disability’s inclusive cycling scheme, Gloucestershire Wheels for All, the event this week also raised awareness of the benefits of cycling for disabled and non-disabled people alike.

Over 100 people attended on the day, with the goal of collectively pedalling 100 miles at the Blackridge Jubilee Athletics Track in Gloucester. Leonard Cheshire Disability’s volunteering service for disabled people aged 16-35, ‘Can Do’, also joined in on the day.

The students, school children, families, carers, volunteers, care home residents and many other cyclists together pedalled 1,360 laps of the track, totalling over 300 miles, tripling the target.

Mary Clare, the Leonard Cheshire Disability physiotherapist who runs Wheels for All said:

‘It was a wonderful day and very satisfying for me to see the bikes giving so much enjoyment, at the same time as enabling people to get exercise that was fun!

‘It makes all the effort by the many people involved in this project very worthwhile.

‘I’m looking forward to seeing many of the groups coming to the regular weekly sessions.’

Leonard Cheshire care home resident Christian Summers, aged 32, said:

‘It’s great and fulfilling being able to cycle. I’m shattered at the end of the cycling sessions, but it’s helping me walk better, feel better and look better!

‘I much prefer being able to cycle outdoors on a proper bike than on a static physiotherapy bike indoors.’

Christian rode a bike as a child but, with increasing mobility issues due to his disability, hadn’t cycled for many years before he came to Gloucestershire House.

The staff there took him to the Blackbridge track in Gloucester so he could benefit from Gloucestershire Wheels for All.

Mary Clare said:

‘Christian began cycling on a recumbent trike, which offers more support than a traditional trike.

‘He was able to cycle independently and really enjoyed it.’

Comments from other disabled cyclists on the day:

  • Joe said: ‘I enjoyed being on a bike on my own.’
  • Paula: ‘I enjoyed being there.’
  • Tom: ‘I wanted to keep going on the bike but after two laps I had to get off because so many other people wanted to have a try!’

This challenge was part of the charity’s ‘100 for 100 challenge’ to celebrate the 100th birthday of Leonard Cheshire. It is calling on people to harness their creativity to do anything involving the number 100 as part of its ‘100 for 100’ challenges.

Pledges from across country include going on 100 walks, watching 100 Disney films, going to the gym 100 times, creating 100 pieces of art, and singing 100 karaoke songs.

Leonard Cheshire Disability hopes the diverse range of #100for100 challenges will reflect the diversity of disability.

It wants as many people as possible to take part, to raise awareness of Leonard Cheshire’s belief that disabled people should be able fulfil their potential and live the lives they choose.

Group Captain Leonard Cheshire sadly passed away in 1992 after almost half a century of humanitarian work supporting disabled people around the world.

Continuing his legacy, the charity currently runs care services globally, and also has specific projects to widen education and employment opportunities for disabled people.

Fundraising from #100for100 challenges will support this work, including funding for people to access activities, innovative equipment and therapies which would not be supplied by social care.

Those taking on the challenge are sharing it on social media using the hashtag #100for100, tagging two friends to join the fun with their own #100for100 challenge.

The charity is asking people to fundraise by asking friends and family to text CHALLENGE to 70313 to donate £3 to support their #100for100 efforts!

Media enquires

  1. For further information, high res images and interview requests please email Claire Farrell or call 020 3242 0204
  2. Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of services for disabled people. Our services include high-quality care and community support together with innovative projects supporting disabled people into education, employment and entrepreneurship. Worldwide, our global alliance of Cheshire partners supports disabled people into education and employment, and works in more than 50 countries.
  3. Gloucestershire Wheels for All is an inclusive cycling scheme that allows everyone to reap the benefits of getting on a bike.
  4. Gloucestershire Wheels for All received funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery. The People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery. A minimum of 30% goes directly to charities and players have raised £148.3 million to date for good causes across the country.