Claire Lomas is counting down to the start of her hand cycle ride round England, which starts a week today (Monday 22 April).

The former event rider, who was paralysed in a fall at Osberton Horse Trials six years ago, will set off on the 644km charity ride from Nottingham Trent University.

With a fundraising target of £100,000, the money raised will go to Spinal Research and The Nicholls Foundation, to be used for stem cell research.

She is due to finish in London on Monday 13 May, after three weeks of town and school visits en route.

Last year Claire completed the London Marathon, after walking for 16 days in a special “robot suit”. She raised thousands of pounds for Spinal Research.
“I’ve done a lot of school visits since the London Marathon,” said Claire. “I go in and talk to the kids about how I got through the accident and rebuilt my life.”

Claire will wear her robotic suit for the talks and an appearance at Salisbury racecourse on Sunday 5 May.

“I think this will be more knackering than the marathon, looking at what I have to do!” she said.

“It’s hard work getting my body weight and that of the bike up a hill with my arms, as they’re not as strong as your legs.”

Claire, who has been training since September “in snow and all sorts”, told H&H that she hadn’t realised quite how much organisation would be required.

“It has been a massive undertaking – with the marathon, you get given the route and that’s that,” she said.

“I’m really excited though and luckily I’ve got a great team.”

Claire has so far raised around £25,000 towards her target.

“It’s a good start,” she said. “I’m always pleased with whatever I raise – it all helps.”

To join Claire on part of her fundraising journey, go to www.clairescycle.co.uk

To donate via Vodafone’s free JustTextGiving service text LEGS60 £3 to 70070.