Kirkby Stephen to Carlisle: 14th July 44miles

21 days in July – the 2005 Douglas Bader Foundation E2E ride re-blogged

Due to a clerical hiccup the Carlisle Rehab Centre were expecting us at 9:00am this morning, which with no reported wormholes or temporal distortions in the area remained steadfastly inconsistent with our location of Kirkby Stephen 44 miles away. The outcome was to form another band of elite cyclists who rose at 5am and left at 6 with a view to making Carlisle in 3 hours to meet up with the rest of the group who took the minibus to the centre. The advantage for the early riders was that we had the rest of the day off to go to the Globe, the Walkabout, the Cinema (War of the Worlds – not recommended) and Wetherspoons, while the other riders were bused back to Kirkby Stephen to ride over in the afternoon. We made it in 3 hours, arriving just after the minibus.


First, Carlisle need to be commended for their excellent bacon and sausage butties; wolfed down after the team time trial up the A6. We then spoke to a few of the centre’s patients on the subject of how you go about riding a bike. We met another young guy that had had bone cancer and had been strugging with implants in his leg for about five years, but had recently had it amputated and is now looking forward to riding a bike again. Also an above knee and above elbow amputee who isn’t keen on riding roads but does trail quests and the like – going down rocky, steep descents!

At each of the centres we visit there’s a representative from the Sponsor Otto Bock. For Northern England that’s Shep Shephard, seen below discussing a new knee mechanism with above knee amputee Jim Bush. It was Otto Bock’s support at the beginning that made this event viable. Shep has a lot of experience with hip disarticulations (HDs) as well – I’ve learnt a great dealt during these limb centre visits.

Jim & Shep in Preston

Richard, a Leeds lad, left us today to attend a wedding in Switzerland but will rejoin us afterwards. Dickie’s a below knee amputee who also lost all the fingers and thumb on his right hand and down to the first knuckles on his left in a climbing accident. He’s been doing very well on his new (first) bike sponsored by Gas Care in Glossop which he got a month and a half before the event. Richard starts a new job for Siemens in October.

Tomorrow, bonny Scotland…

Notice we have an away strip now – Otto Bock white – although Carlisle was the last of our limb centre visits.

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