Blind cyclist is set for epic trio

A blind cyclist from Wrangle is preparing for his biggest endurance challenge by taking part in a trio of cycle rides - all to raise cash for charity.

Mark Dickinson,45, is registered blind and takes part in various events across Europe on a custom-made tandem bike with his work colleague Graeme Chilvers.

Both raise money for different charities, including Cancer Research UK, Guide Dogs for the Blind and The Outward Bound Trust.

This year the pair are aiming to raise funds by taking part in three major cycle rides – a route from London to Amsterdam, and the first two stages of the Tour de France, both in June, and a five-day ride from London to Geneva in September.

Chestnut Homes is supporting the duo, who ride under the name of Team Daisy, with a £2,000 donation, which will go towards covering the team’s entry fees.

Last year, the Lincolnshire housebuilder sponsored Team Daisy’s first ever team kit and helped provide the pair with new cycling jackets.

Mark said: “We’ve been cycling together for several years, raising as much money as possible and hoping to inspire more people to take up the sport. Next year we’re planning on pushing our bodies harder and cycling more routes in Europe, so we will need assistance with funding for travel and entry fees.

“This second contribution from Chestnut Homes enables us to take on these more challenging adventures so we can raise more money for our chosen charities.”

In 2009 Mark was diagnosed with the rare eye condition Stargardt Macular Dystrophy,and was registered blind 18 months later.

With the help of Graeme, who worked with Mark at Dulux Trade, he was able to take part in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, and they went on to form Team Daisy.

Since then, the duo have cycled from London to Paris in 21 hours and taken part in numerous Ride London events. They have also taken on the Gran Fond Giro d’ Italia Northern Ireland, which sees cyclists tackle some of Northern Ireland’s most iconic climbs.

Mark added: “Without the support of companies like Chestnut Homes, we wouldn’t be able to take part in any of these fundraising events.

“Their funding enabled us to purchase matching kits last year, which has made a big difference and helped us to feel like an official team.”

David Newton, managing director of Chestnut Homes, said: “As a company of keen cyclists, we’re proud to be supporting Mark and Graeme with their fundraising efforts for a second year.

“Mark’s story is truly inspirational, and proves that with the right support and passion you can overcome all obstacles. We wish them all the best for next year and will be cheering them on in their forthcoming events.”