Karen_DarkeKaren Darke, the medal winning Paralympian hand-cyclist will join four other riders on 20th April 2013, as they attempt to scale Cadair Idris, one of the tallest mountains in Snowdonia, using specially designed mountain bikes.

The bikes, which are pedalled by hand rather than by foot, have especially low gears which will be essential on the steep and rocky upper slopes of the mountain.

Karen will take the place of Luke Delahunty, the organisers’ ‘Champion’, who was injured in a skiing accident earlier in the year.

“Luke damaged his shoulder in a fall, and this blocked any attempts to train for the gruelling 10 hours on the mountain. A shoulder injury has added impact for any wheelchair user, and though sad to see him retire from the ride, we completely understand that he needs to rest the injury” said event co-ordinator Graham O’Hanlon. “With so little time left, there was no chance to get a new rider up to speed with operating the bike, or indeed the time to develop personal fitness. The first reserve (me) was starting to get nervous!”

“Out of the blue, we heard that Karen was interested in taking part. She was fresh from a winter of training in Mallorca, has ridden the same model of bike on numerous occasions, and has a long history of adventures on hand-bikes. There are few people, nationally or internationally, who could have stepped in at this late stage, and we consider ourselves very lucky to have her on-board.”

“There will not be much to see on the day, as riders will be spread out across the mountain, but the same evening, riders and support crew will be gathering at the Cross Foxes at Brithdir, where there will be a great chance to get a closer look at the equipment, and meet some of the people involved” added Graham.

This ambitious event has been made possible by the efforts of a large team of skilled volunteers. Any money donated will be split between Mawddach Rotary Club (10%), Challenge your Boundaries adaptive MTB project (30%), Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team (30%), and ‘Walking with the Wounded’; a project assisting injured service personnel (30%).

You can follow our progress at www.facebook.com/challengeyourboundaries

and you can help us by donating online at http://www.justgiving.com/teams/HandBikesatDawn

Contact us on info@snowbikers.com or call us on 01341 430628 for further information.