Severely Injured soldiers and veterans making up for international teams from the; UK (2 teams) Canada, and New Zealand, are to cycle, using specialist recumbent tandem cycles (see training picture above), over 1500 miles from the most southern point to the most northern point of New Zealand.
Working with The NZ Defence Force and New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment Association, this will be the first distance event of its kind. Pilgrim Bandits Charity is aiming to make it a bi-annual challenge with Operation Ride http://opride.org/ being hosted by the winning team/country in 2020. Operation Ride will cover 100 miles of challenging terrain per day. Each cycle will have an adapted hand element at the front for the amputees.
Team New Zealand Amy Baynes Christchurch - 38 - Back and hip injury, serving NDF Dave Benfell Tauranga - 40 - Broken back, veteran Bill Blakie Wellington - 56 - PTSD, veteran Dion Ngawiki Tana Leeston, Christchurch 48 Bullet injury and complex regional pain syndrome, veteran Gary Brandon Taupo 49 Bruce Blackburn Rolleston, Christchurch 61 Team Canada David Stanford British Columbia Able bodied veteran and Team Captain, Police Officer Christine Gauthier Shrapnel injuries deteriorating - para Olympian and veteran Mike Seinen Paraplegic, veteran Daniel Hrecka PTSD veteran Mike Fuentespina PTSD veteran
Team UK Ben Parkinson MBE Doncaster 31 Double Leg Amputee, brain injury Caria Ammerlaan Aberdeen 43 Able Bodied (team captain) Richard Wilkinson Lancashire 41 Single Leg Amputee Craig Hayworth Lancashire 51 Single Leg Amputee Mark Allen Kings Lynn 28 Double Leg Amputee Hugo Mellor Bristol 36 Able Bodied (team captain) Geraint Hampton Cardiff 35 Able Bodied (team captain) Tyler Christopher Carmarthenshire 34 Double Leg Amputee Mark Brown Colne, Wilts 56 Above Elbow Left Arm Amputee Jonathan Le Galloudec Wiltshire 38 Spinal Injury Martin Compton East Sussex 35 85% Burns Vince Manley Plymouth 48 Double Leg Amputee Sally Orange Stafford 44 MRDD Supt Michael Rogers Dorset 51 Team Rider
Matt Hellyer Hereford 48 Andre Edwards Christchurch 48 Support team