Niall gets back on bike for marathon chal­lenge


AN ac­coun­tant is clock­ing up the miles be­fore he at­tempts to cy­cled from Lon­don to Paris in aid of char­ity.

And it will be no mean feet for the Niall O’Gara, who was hos­pi­talised for three days in Oc­to­ber af­ter fall­ing off his bike and frac­tur­ing his skull, col­lar bone and four ribs.

Niall, who is a se­nior fi­nan­cial ac­coun­tant at NHS East Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group, re­cu­per­ated for five weeks be­fore com­ing back to work, but only got back on his bike last month - giv­ing him just four months to build up his con­fi­dence for the epic cy­cle.

Niall, who lives in Con­gle­ton, said: “It was a com­bi­na­tion of my shoul­der still hurt­ing and I was a bit fright­ened of get­ting back on the bike again when it was po­ten­tially icy. But train­ing is go­ing well, I’m cur­rently do­ing two 45-mile rides a week, which is just as well as I need to cover a min­i­mum of 60 miles and a max­i­mum of 90 a day on the big ride it­self.”

Niall hopes to cy­cle 320 miles over four days, and has set a fundrais­ing tar­get of £1,700 for East Cheshire Hospice, which cares for peo­ple with life-lim­it­ing ill­nesses.

He said: “My mother died in a hospice the year be­fore last in Ire­land where I’m from, so I want to do this firstly in her mem­ory.

“But since then I’ve come across so many peo­ple whose par­ents and grand­par­ents have died from can­cer in our lo­cal hospice and it’s so im­por­tant that its vi­tal work is sup­ported.

“The hospice does amaz­ing work mak­ing sure that peo­ple are com­forta- ble and cared for in the last few years of their lives. It must raise 83 per cent of the £3,000,000 it needs each year to keep go­ing from the lo­cal com­mu­nity, so hope­fully I can make a small con­tri­bu­tion to­wards that.”

Niall be­gins his chal­lenge on 16 July, cy­cling from Lon­don to Dover, catch­ing a ferry to Calais, and fin­ish­ing in Paris on 20 July.

Alex Mitchell, chief fi­nance of­fi­cer for NHS East­ern Cheshire CCG, said: “As Niall’s man­ager, I’d like to com­mend him for tak­ing on such a gru­elling chal­lenge, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing he was in­jured not so long ago.

“Niall’s pedal-push­ing feat is the lat­est in a string of fundrais­ing ef­forts for the hospice by the CCG, in­clud­ing the £1,000 we do­nated to the hospice in 2014 when it was our staff char­ity.”

To do­nate go to justgiv­

●● Niall O’Gara is un­der­tak­ing the cy­cling chal­lenge to raise much-needed funds for East Cheshire Hospice only months af­ter a se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent

●● Steve Loake if Di­rect Food In­gre­di­ents

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