We're pleased to report that the Hand Bikes at Dawn challenge, previewed last week on UKH, went well. The event saw four disabled riders and their support crews take on Cadair Idris using special hand-powered mountain bikes. Two riders made the summit, including paralympian Karen Darke - who organisers believe may be the first person ever to ascend the mountain by hand bike.
The teams set out at first light, and Karen Darke's team was the first to summit, taking about six hours to make the gruelling ascent. Fellow rider Adrian Disney's team followed on about an hour later. The other riders, Keith Robinson and Paul Robinson, both exceeded their personal goals, reaching the 560m contour, and the pillow lava just below the summit cone respectively.
Support crews for each rider used sand-ladders to provide traction over the rockiest sections of the trail.
The ride was coordinated by Challenge your Boundaries an adaptive MTB project based at the Coed y Brenin Trail Centre near Dolgellau. A tired but happy Graham O'Hanlon, who coordinated the ride, declared himself well pleased with the day:
'The weather was fantastic, and this spurred on the riders to great things. Two riders at the summit was a brilliant outcome. This has been a massively rewarding day for everyone involved.'
'The whole project has had great support from the local outdoor community, and we really couldn't have done it without them. It turned out to be a real multi-agency event with members of two mountain rescue teams, two RNLI lifeboat crews, the RAF, the Police and the Snowdonia National Park volunteering on the day. Thank you all.'
Rider Paul Robinson added:
'I am completely humbled by the selfless enthusiasm of the support team some of the most inspirational and motivated people I have ever met. It was truly an honour to meet you all. I haven't been on a mountain in over 15 years since my accident in 1997. It was an emotional experience and [I] cannot express my gratitude enough.'
The aim of the challenge was to raise the profile of adaptive mountain biking in the UK, plus some money for a number of associated projects and local charities. To date over two thousand pounds has been raised.