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 justgiving.com/Niall-O-Gara1.
●● 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