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Old 01-27-2016, 01:50 PM   #1
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Paralysed former showjumper swaps horses for horse power

Claire Lomas is raising money for The Bike Experience and aiming for an ACU licence

Claire Lomas at Mallory Park. Credit: Claire Lomas and Dave Hughes Photography.

IF you've ever wanted proof of how amazing people can be, you don’t need to look much further than 35-year-old Claire Lomas from Eye Kettleby in Leicester.

Claire is paralysed from the chest-down as the result of a horse riding accident in 2007, but that hasn’t stopped her from learning to ride a motorbike and completing countless laps of Mallory park on a specially adapted CBR600 and more recently, a Suzuki SV650.

Now, she’s aiming to get her ACU race licence and is raising money for The Bike Experience, a charity that helps disabled motorcyclists ride again or, in Claire’s case, for the first time.

We asked Claire how her adventure on two wheels began and she told us:

‘Eventing is a high adrenaline, risky sport and great fun. I’ve always like that adrenaline, and not being able to ride horses is a big loss to me.

‘Having said that, I’m always busy and wasn’t really looking to fill a gap in my life but when The Bike Experience offered me the chance to ride a motorbike I thought, “Well why not?” because riding a bike was never something that I thought would be possible in my situation.

‘After having a go and learning to ride, I really liked it. Mallory Park let me go and ride on the track to learn and get better. I go there whenever they haven’t got bookings and want to get my ACU licence. The adrenaline from riding is the same feeling I get from eventing and my public speaking – it’s what I thrive on.

‘Riding a bike has introduced me to a new group of people I’ve found so friendly, and it's given me a fresh challenge. I’ve done a lot of fundraising for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, who are working to find a cure for paralysis, and there’s a link between what they do and the opportunities The Bike Experience provide for injured motorcyclists. The ride out will raise awareness and money for both charities.’

Since her accident, Claire has raised over £507,000 by taking on challenges that have included finishing a 400 mile hand cycle ride and completing the London Marathon in a bionic suit over the course of two weeks.

Claire's charity ride on the May 14 this year requires a minimum donation of £5 and you can click here to be part of it. Proceeds will go to The Bike Experience and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
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