On 20th June, 2013, Deafblind Cymru’s In Touch Project Manager, Ross Evans, will be setting off from Hampton Court in London on a 550km bike ride to raise money for Deafblind Cymru (part of Deafblind UK).
The London – Paris race is known as the closest an amateur can get to experiencing the Tour de France and ranked as one of the world’s top 25 participation events by The Daily Telegraph, alongside the London and New York Marathons. The race is restricted to 450 riders, who all have to be in peak physical condition and ready for the challenge, both mentally and physically.
A keen cyclist, Ross has always wanted to cycle the London – Paris, and when he discovered that this year was the race’s 10th anniversary he felt compelled to enter. He said: “This is an amazing experience for me personally, but it also represents a really good opportunity to raise awareness of the fantastic work that we do at Deafblind Cymru. The £2,000+ that I’m hoping to raise will help fund the range of important community services that we provide to deafblind people, which help alleviate the feelings of loneliness and social isolation that are often experienced by people with a combined sight and hearing loss”.
The charity offers a range of services to deafblind people including practical support and advice, peer support and social groups, a volunteer befriender service as well as support for carers. Funding enables the charity to continue to enhance and expand its services, which has recently aided the launch of a digital inclusion project which supports its members to get online and benefit from the range of services, information and media available through the internet.
Road cycling is a relatively new thing for Ross, he had originally focused on down hill racing until an accident three years ago when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament. Now he loves road cycling and has been training hard for this race, riding 566km between Christmas and New Year’s Eve – but he’s hoping for better weather for the race itself.
He said: “I love cycling so training has not caused me any great problems, although the weather could have been better. It has mostly been wet cold and dark when I get on my bike so I’m hoping for something a bit brighter on the ride through England and France. I can’t wait to ride on new roads with other competitive cyclists and really looking forward to rolling down into Paris and seeing the iconic Eiffel Tower. Other than having to bunk with a snorer at night, I am not dreading anything about this race and just want to get started”.