Cyclists will take to the roads of Anglesey this month to ride 80 miles for EMpowered people, a charity that encourages adults with disabilities to improve their health and wellbeing through cycling.
10 empowered riders – who all have disabilities that limit their mobility – will be taking up the challenge between 10-11th May. All of the riders are beneficiaries of the charity and will use specially-adapted or electric-powered bikes to help them complete the tour.
The tour will start at Cymyran Bay, head north-west towards Holyhead before swooping back east to return to the start position. On the second day, the cyclists will trail the south of the island, taking in Newborough, Llangefni and Dingle Pass. Over the two days the riders will complete a total distance of 80 miles, including challenging hills and terrains.
EMpowered people aims to encourage adults with disabilities to engage with cycling by providing support, tools and equipment.
Llangefni-based defence manufacturer, FAUN Trackway has signed up to sponsor the event, providing the riders with water bottles and clothing, plus a donation towards the cost of running the event.
The company was approached by Simon Lord, the charity’s founder and a former FAUN employee, to see whether the team would like to get involved. Simon worked for the business for 14 years, first joining when it was the former Laird Anglesey, before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) which meant he could no longer manage physical work.
Simon said: "I’ve been a keen cyclist since I was a young lad but when my condition began to worsen I started finding it difficult to ride. I was faced with the very real possibility of having to give up something I loved. The electric bike was a real eye-opener. I found it gave me the assistance I needed to keep going, and help me manage my fatigue. It made me want to help others in a similar position and show them that being diagnosed with a disability doesn’t mean you have to completely change your life – just adapt it.
"Cycling is a fun way to keep fit and healthy. I set up the charity to raise valuable funds to support disabled people to get back into cycling and have a positive effect on their own lives.
"I’d like to thank FAUN and everyone whose kind donations have made this event possible."
Five members of the FAUN Trackway team will also be joining the two-day event as members of a 18-strong support team to assist the cyclists.
Rachael Williams, one of the cyclists from FAUN Trackway, said: "To cycle 80 miles across Anglesey is a huge feat even when you’re able-bodied. The cyclists are incredibly brave and deserve to raise lots of money for this very worthy cause. I hope lots of people will come out on the streets to show their support and cheer them on."