Paralympian to take on huge cycle challenge

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A Hebden Bridge Paralympian has announced that he will participate in next month’s “Deloitte Ride Across Britain” event, in support of the national disability charity Sense.

Double gold-medal-winning Paralympian Steve Bate has Retinitis Pigmentosa and is visually impaired. He will lead a team of ten cyclists who are cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for Sense, a disability charity that supports people are deafblind, have sensory impairments and complex needs.

The epic 969-mile ride will take place between September 9 and 17, with the cyclists travelling through 23 counties across England, Wales and Scotland.

Steve, who only has six per cent of his eyesight remaining, has decided to make the trek more challenging by attempting it on a “fat bike”, a heavier bicycle, more suited to off-road terrain. If successful, it is thought Steve will be the first person to complete the journey on such a bike.

Steve said: “The decision to participate in the ‘Ride Across Britain’ event was my way of showing support for a cause that is close to my heart.

“The people at Sense do incredible work supporting people with sight and hearing impairments to lead full and active lives.

“I now can’t wait to take to the road on my ‘fat bike’. The bike will make the journey more challenging, and I’m sure I’ll get lots of odd looks from the other cyclists.

“But I’m keen to show that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.”

Richard Kramer, deputy chief executive of Sense, said: “We are tremendously excited to have a double gold medal winning Paralympian as our ambassador for the prestigious ‘Ride Across Britain’ event.”

Steve is no stranger to epic firsts. Prior to his heroics at the 2016 Paralympics, in 2013 he became the first visually impaired climber to solo El Capitan, a shear 3,000ft rock face in the Yosemite Valley, California.