The Alpine Bikes Himalayan Hand Cycle
1400 Kilometres from Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan.
Fund-raising for Scotlands Alternative Skiers
at BlueDome wish the team of Karen Darke, Leslie Tidmarsh, Peter
Allison and Gheorge Muresan success with their challenging expedition.
A 1,400 Kilometre expedititon across the
Himalayan Mountains from Kazakstan to Northern Pakistan. On
rough tracks and through high passes, the team of four will
climb to altitudes of 5,000 metres using a recumbent tandem
and mountain bikes. This challenge will take place during september
1997 and aims to raise £10,000 for Scotlands Alternative
An introduction from Karen Darke, team member.
One sunny Scottish spring morning, a climbing
accident changed my life forever. I was paralysed. No more walking,
running, cycling or being in the mountains.....or so I thought.
Six months later I discovered Scotlands Alternative Skiers.
Words cannot do justice to the impact this
had on my life, allowing me access once again to the exhileration
and freedom of the mountains, the sensation of movement, and
the ability to ga as fast as anyone else. Since then I have
become very involved with the organisation and learned that
many disabled people have not just re-discovered these feeling
but are experiencing them for the first time in their lives.
The experience brings improved fitness,
balance, physical co-ordination and confidence - all of which
are carried over to surmount the problems and difficulties of
everyday life. Disability and its severity are irrelevant and
the benefits to the individual are as countless as the number
of people wanting the opportunity.
Scotlands Alternative Skiers was formed
in 1989 by a group of individuals with the same ideals, view
and foresight. The aim is to provide the facilities, equipment
and expertise to bring the opportunity for winter sports activities
within reach of the scottish disabled community.The average
annual membership is around 200 people and the range of disabilities
includes amputees, cerebral palsied, paraplegics, the blind,
epilepsy sufferers and those with learning difficulties. The
growing success of the association is however putting increased
demands on our resources and this presents the danger of preventing
disabled people in Scotland the opportunity to sample what most
take for granted.
Unfortunately the specialised equipment
is very expensive, with just one of the pieces of adaptive ski
equipment costing in the region of £2000. The sponsored
"Himalayan Hand Cycle Expedition" plans to alleviate
the shortfall in resources.