Ride for MIchael

On March 3rd 2013, while taking part in his local Eden Valley sportive, Michael Bonney fell off his bike, just like we all do. Only this time, instead of jumping up and laughing it off, Michael suffered a life changing injury. Attended to by doctors at the scene of the accident, he was then flown by air ambulance to a specialist unit where he was diagnosed with a severed spinal cord at the C3 vertebrae. The result is that Michael is now tetraplegic - paralysed from the neck down, requiring a ventilator to breath.

Those of you who know Michael will be aware that he is a key figure in the UK bicycle industry. He has steered the ship at Orange Mountain Bikes on a day-to-day basis for more than a decade and has championed many causes, people and ideas; both inside and outside of the cycle business. To all who know him personally or professionally, even to those who just know him by reputation, the news of his accident was devastating. 

There is however, a glimmer of good news! Michael is a man with more determination and ‘gusto’ than most. In the weeks following his accident he has progressed considerably faster than any of the medical staff would have predicted. Each goal he achieves is the starting point to his next target. From the bleakest of possible outcomes on day one, Michael has achieved his goal of sitting upright and operating his motorized wheelchair months ahead of predictions.  


Michael gave a great interview to Carlton Reid of the UK’s Bike Biz magazine. Far from dwelling on his situation and highlighting the risks of cycling, this is what he said: 

"I don't want anybody to stop riding bikes because they think they might injure themselves. I want people to get out there and ride bikes. I've spent all of my working life getting people excited about bikes and even though spinal injuries happen to cyclists, and especially to mountain bikers, it's very rare. I was unlucky, shit happens. Get out there and ride, for me."

So how can we help?

Since the accident many of you have asked how you can help Michael directly. This is a simple question and one that deserves a simple solution, which so far hasn't been forthcoming.

For the long-term, the process of setting up the Michael Bonney Trust Fund and charitable projects are in progress. Sadly until they are firmly in place, well known services like justgiving.com are not an option for reasons out of our control. 

The brutal reality of the situation is that Michael will require a full-time carer, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. His home will need to have the necessary remodelling undertaken to accomodate his condition and meet his accessibility needs. He will need a wheel-chair accessible vehicle to help give him a level of independence which we know he thrives on.

Anticipated costs to care for Michael will be in the region of £100,000, every year, for the rest of his life.

So as you can see, we have a lot of work to do to raise funds to support and care for him, but we need to start somewhere, right?

So right now, this is as much a call to arms as a long term solution. In a grand tour stage race, this would be stage 1 (maybe even the prologue). Our target is to raise £10,000, a fraction of what Michael will eventually need, but with your help we can start making a difference and start chipping away at the bigger number!

We want to spread the word through the 'Ride for Michael Bonney' campaign - we have big plans and we want people to get out on their bikes for all kinds or reasons, not just for Michael. A little while back we did some simple MB stickers for bikes (or for whatever took your stickering fancy) and they were hugely popular. So we’ve got a few more and added a line and a couple of other sizes.

We’re also creating a few other ‘Ride for Michael Bonney’ goodies to help you show your support for Michael’s cause.

For each of your contributions, we will provide bike decals (stickers), wristbands, Tees and hoodies to help spread the word. Can you help? We hope so...

If wish to contribute to help Michael directly, this is the place to start. It’s as much as an “I’m on board” statement as anything, as we hope that in the future many “Ride for Michael Bonney” events and fundraisers can take place.

Please share this campaign amongst those who know of Michael’s situation and we’ll get the groundswell of support and events rolling. There are already several events either specifically aimed at Ride for Michael Bonney or contributing towards it.

Forthcoming Events
#Ride4MB - 1 Dragon Ride: June 9th 2013 Info
#Ride4MB - 2 Northern Ireland July 6th 2013  
#Ride4MB - 4 North Lakes Hotel Penrith September 16th 2013  
#Ride4MB - 4 Eden Valley:  September 29th 2013 Info

You can also follow Michael's progress via his Facebook page. He is on the verge of sorting out updating it personally with the aid of assistive technology.


With your help, support and contribution we make a positive difference to Michael's future so lets 'Ride for Michael Bonney' - Thanks! grin