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Severely Injured Soldiers to Cycle 1500 Miles Across New Zealand

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 27th Oct 2018 - 17th Nov 2018. International teams of injured amputee soldiers and veterans from UK, New Zealand and Canada are to recumbent-cycle the length of New Zealand’s North and South Island.

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 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

Support Team

Matt Hellyer Hereford 48 Andre Edwards  Christchurch 48 Support team

  • Source: A OperationRide release