Fundraising cyclist back in saddle despite crash
PUBLISHED: 16:07 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:10 10 August 2020
A Norwich man has overcome an unfortunate setback on his charity cycle ride with a little help from a local bike expert.
Matt Colley answered the call to join the ‘Walk 500 Miles’ campaign, which was launched last month by former North Norfolk MP Sir Norman Lamb, in conjunction with Norfolk Community Foundation.
The 40-year-old, from Old Catton, took up the challenge by attempting to cover the distance on his bike instead of walking – despite having no experience of long-distance cycling.
He had been on target to reach his goal of cycling 500 miles in August, when disaster struck on Sunday’s ride.
MORE: Norwich man answers ex-MP’s call to support mental health services
He said: “I was cycling along Yarmouth Road when I heard my bike making an odd clicking sound. I looked down for a few seconds to try to identify the source of the noise, and when I looked up I was about three feet from a parked car. I had no time to react, so I hit the car head-on at some speed.”
Remarkably, Matt was able to walk away with minor bumps and bruises, although his cherished road bike was not so fortunate.
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“The forks and handlebars were both bent out of shape, and the brake blocks were fixed against the front wheel. While I went to the walk-in centre to make sure I hadn’t damaged myself too badly, my wife took my bike into Evans Cycles to be diagnosed,” he said.
“The manager, Rob, had seen my fundraising exploits in the paper and agreed to fix the bike for me free of charge, which was incredibly generous of him. Within 24 hours the bike was fixed and ready to go, and I’m going to be back in the saddle this evening.”
Mr Lamb’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund aims to support community organisations in Norfolk working in mental health, learning disability and autism and focused on children, teenagers and young adults.
MORE: Sir Norman Lamb challenges county to walk 500 miles for young people
Having been first diagnosed with depression aged 19, Mr Colley felt compelled to offer his support to the campaign due to his own experiences of mental ill health.
He has a few words of advice for any novice cyclists heading out on the road: “Whatever you do, never take your eyes off the road! I won’t be making that mistake again. I’ve been incredibly lucky, and I’m going to use that lucky break to ensure I reach my 500-mile goal.
“Mental health is a subject that’s very close to my heart, and the support and donations I have received so far have been truly humbling.”
• To sponsor Matt and find out more about his campaign visit his fundraising page.
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