Few people can lay claim to cycling hundreds of miles from London to Paris in just four days, let alone accomplishing this feat using their upper body strength alone.
But for Wortwell singer Simon Kindleysides, who has used a wheelchair full-time since April 2013, the pain and hardships of conquering Skyline’s annual cross-channel bike ride with a hand-cycle was well worthwhile, as his fundraising for the Brain and Spine Foundation reaches almost £4,000.
“It was very hard. I’m still hurting and it was over a week ago,” said Mr Kindleysides, of High Road, who suffers from Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and is undergoing treatment for a small benign glioma tumour on his brain.
“The hills were horrendous. There were quite a few able-bodied people who got off their bikes and walked up the hills, but I didn’t have that option. I just had to keep going.”
“With the right team egging me on, it was well worth it though. I always though if I’m biking that far, I’m not doing it for peanuts. When it crossed that £3,000 milestone,I was over the moon.
“To be able to say I’ve cycled to Paris is amazing.”
Mr Kindleysides, who appeared in national media earlier this year after taking his first steps in over two years using the ‘Rex Robotic Suit’, expressed his thanks for the support from family, friends and many others who did not know him, including several celebrities who publicised his efforts on social media, and said the Brain and Spine Foundation had been very grateful for helping to “put them on the map.”
At the time of going to press, his JustGiving web page has attracted £3,660.85 in donations.
He added he was thankful to now be able to take a break from training and fundraising, which he described as being akin to “a full-time job”, and focus on his singing career, but stated he was considering more hand-cycle endeavours in the future, such as next year’s Three Cities Charity Bike Ride from London to Brussels via Amsterdam.
There is still time to pledge towards Mr Kindleysides’ current fundraiser - see www.justgiving.com/simonFND