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Ben’s Appeal – Maratona Dles Dolomites

It was a long, but routine, training ride. In the calendar for this year was La Marmotte for a second time, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège aka ‘The Old Lady’. The winter bike had been put to good use in its first season, and he was raring to go.

Had those hours busting a gut on the Wattbike paid off?

The training ride would go up and into the Goyt Valley before heading towards Hathersage, then back home via Mam Tor and Whaley Bridge: 165km with 3,000m of elevation.

Sadly, this is one training ride that will never be forgotten, for all the wrong reasons. Around mid-morning after coming out of the Goyt Valley, Ben was involved in a collision and was air lifted to Stoke for emergency care on a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

He was in a coma.

What followed was a very long road to recovery that has been both exhausting. That being said, it is gratifying that rehabilitation is being provided and that he is at least on a ‘road’, however long.

It was 2 years before Ben got back on a bike. He struggled to find the motivation for his once-loved pastime. That was until a good friend called and very nervously asked if Ben wanted to do the Maratona dles Dolomites in Italy.

The relief of finally having a goal, was similar to the feeling he felt when getting on his bike for the first time in two years – a huge weight lifted off.

So, along with 5 close friends he is doing the Maratona on 05.07.20. They will all be raising money for the Air Ambulance, so critical for Ben and so many others in providing immediate emergency care in hard to reach places.

In the current situation, clearly mass participation events in high risk areas have been stopped in their tracks, which initially removed this key goal from Ben’s rehab.

That is until he was convinced by a couple of new online platforms, which are excellent at mimicking the real thing. With the right kit, and group of friends, the Maratona could actually be done in augmented reality, using ANT+ enabled training equipment.

We are offering you the opportunity to be part of it, to ride it, to sponsor it and follow it.

All proceeds will be going to Air Ambulance services across the UK. This vital public service, which covers 3850 square miles and remains a charity, needs your support as much as ever. Read more about it here.

Ben’s story is one of many that could be told. Please donate.