Stroke no bar to Crowborough ‘long distance’ bike ride

Stroke survivors cycle 'from London to Brighton' at Leisure Centre
Stroke survivors cycle 'from London to Brighton' at Leisure Centre

A team of courageous stroke survivors has successfully cycled the equivalent distance of London to Brighton (56 miles) in 3.5 hours on indoor bikes at Crowborough Leisure Centre.

The cycle ride took place on Monday November 17 and was organised by the Freedom Leisure team to raise awareness of strokes and funds for the Stroke Association.

A team of eight survivors who attend rehabilitation classes at Crowborough Leisure Centre took part. Family and friends were there to support their effort and emotions ran high as the cyclists showed how it’s possible to regain fitness and stamina following a stroke. While they pedalled away, Freedom Leisure members came along to have a free blood pressure check from the Stroke Association.

Thirty-five took the opportunity: most were fine but a few had high blood pressure and were given advice on how to manage it. Early detection is key to taking preventative measures and reducing the risk of having a stroke.

Steph Wadlow, Freedom Leisure health programmes manager, said: “The ride was a really positive event and I was delighted to see my stroke rehab group members take to the saddle. Survivors can have so much life ahead of them and exercise is key to helping them manage physical limitations they have. Not only did this prove they have regained physical fitness, it gave them a confidence boost to undertake the challenge. Families and friends were proud to see them in action: it was moving and humbling.”

Taking part was Pete Giles, 81. Pete had a stroke eight years ago. He joins in the stroke group sessions and uses the gym at Crowborough Leisure Centre regularly. He said: “It’s a great opportunity for me to get active and raise funds for charity. After a stroke it can be tempting to give up on your health but I know from experience that exercise boosts your recovery.”

If you have been affected by stroke, visit the Stroke Association at: www.stroke.org.uk. To find out more about the Stroke Group at Crowborough Leisure Centre contact: 01892 665488.