Buxton bar boss gears up to join brother on 290-mile charity ride

Gary Dawson and fiance Chimane Evans at last year's finish line in Paris
Gary Dawson and fiance Chimane Evans at last year's finish line in Paris

A family of cyclists are gearing up for a charity bike ride to support their brother Gary, who is paralysed from the chest down.

But they will have to push themselves to keep up with him on the London to Amsterdam journey, covering almost 300 miles in three days.

SIA is an excellent charity but struggles to raise enough money to help all those needed.

Katie Worrall

Gary Dawson was paralysed in a motorcycle accident 12 years ago and now works for the Spinal Injury Association (SIA).

He’s had practice at long distances, having hand-cycled from London to Paris for the charity last year, but now his brother Mark, 32, and sister Julie, 35, have been inspired to ride alongside him.

He added: “It’s going to be fantastic having my brother and sister with me. But it’s hard work, so they’re going to have to get in shape.”

Mark, who runs the Old Clubhouse in Buxton, said: “When I went to meet them at the Eiffel Tower at the finish line it was a great experience, so I bought a bike last week but I’ve realised I’m out of shape - the first day of the ride is 70-odd miles, and I’m running out of steam after two miles. So I’m training five days a week to catch up with him.”

Gary, who lives in Manchester, has worked for SIA for years providing support for other people experiencing what he once did, when he adjusted to his injury.

Marks’ partner, Katie Worrall, who is helping to raise sponsorship, said Gary was an inspiration to them all.

She added: “He has become a role model for many as he never lets this stop him doing anything.

“He has trained for Team GB Paralympics’ wheelchair basketball team, he could have played in Beijing but for work reasons.

“We will be doing a charity event in the Old Clubhouse once Mark has finalised details. SIA is an excellent charity but struggles to raise enough money to help all those needed.”

The Dawsons will be riding on May 15 in a team of 35 SIA supporters, including wheelchair users and relatives.