Disabled cyclists take on a 2400 mile virtual cycle across the USA

Disabled residents at St Bridget’s, a care home in West Sussex run by charity Leonard Cheshire, are taking on a huge 2,400-mile virtual cycle across the USA.

Cycling the renowned Route 66 from the east coast in Chicago to the west coast in California, the full-time wheelchair users at St Bridget’s are completing the lockdown challenge on static therapy bikes and accessible bikes.

Disabled people from three more Leonard Cheshire homes provide extra pedal power for the Rustington residents’ Stateside journey. Residents from Gloucestershire House in Cheltenham, Symonds House in Hertfordshire and Fryers House in Hampshire are racking up the miles and pooling their totals.

Leonard Cheshire resident and challenge organiser Dave Evans checks in remotely with his cycling colleagues at St Bridget’s. Delighted with the response from Rustington, Dave tracks the group’s progress on a virtual map and points out key landmarks along the way.


Dave said:

“We’ve made brilliant progress with the Route 66 Challenge. Under lockdown, our intrepid Leonard Cheshire riders are taking on the biggest trek we’ve ever done. We wanted to create new connections and boost morale. We wanted to improve our physical fitness and have a bit of fun.  And it’s working really well.”

The virtual journey began on 1st June and the disabled cyclists hope to reach their destination of Santa Monica by 31st July.

Sarah Grout, Regional Fundraising Executive at Leonard Cheshire, said: “The phenomenal Route 66 Challenge provides an extra boost to morale. The teamwork provides great motivation, with friendships being formed across the country as a direct result.

“The project shows the importance of physical activity and the joy of cycling, whether on static therapy bikes or adapted accessible bikes. This specialist equipment is costly and needs constant servicing and replacement. Funds raised through the challenge will help buy and maintain cycling equipment for all the homes involved, meaning in future more people can experience the benefits of cycling.”

To donate to the Route 66 Challenge in aid of Leonard Cheshire, please visit justgiving.com/route66virtualcycle


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