Disabled hand-cyclist returns

Words and photo by Dave Barry

A paraplegic hand-cyclist with a top speed of 47mph is returning to Scarborough on his way around the country.

Rob Groves is hand-cycling 1,000 miles in 14 days around England.

He is raising money to support disabled dogs in Romania, which he visited in June.

Rob, 62, would like to meet rescued dogs, especially disabled ones, on his ride. “If they have a doggy wheelchair, maybe we can have a little ride together”, he says.

“We would like to live-stream their stories and share with the world the importance of giving all rescued dogs around the world a loving home. 

“We will also be visiting animal sanctuaries that care for abandoned and unwanted animals”.

Starting in Essex on 2 September, Rob’s journey will take him through Cambridge, Kings Lynn, Skegness, Scunthorpe and York.

He will arrive in Scarborough on 7 September and leave two days later, after a rest.

The rest of his trip will take him to Thirsk, IIkley, Manchester, Stoke and Birmingham, before finishing at the Vale wildlife hospital and rehabilitation centre in Gloucestershire.

Last year, Rob cycled 2,500 miles in 27 days to highlight the issues of pollution and climate change affecting our seas and coasts.

Rob’s life changed 10 years ago, when an accident caused a slipped disc to crush his spinal cord.

Being paralysed from the waist down, Rob doesn’t get a sore bum from riding but his shoulders and back ache. He said his top speed had been 47mph coming down a straight hill with a good surface.

Rob operates his bike’s brakes and gears from an electronic control panel and films sections on a GoPro camera.

Donations can be made online via justgiving.com - search for Quest4hope.

Rob and his team will be collecting dog food to take to Romania. People can drop donations off at Boyes on Queen Street but will have to take them upstairs to the office near the cafe. Or they can meet Rob at the Sea Life Centre at noon on 8 September.