MICHAEL'S Story

On March 3rd 2013, while taking part in his local Eden Valley sportive, Michael Bonney fell off his bike, just like we all do. Only this time, instead of jumping up and laughing it off, Michael suffered a life changing injury. Attended to by doctors at the scene of the accident, he was then flown by air ambulance to a specialist unit where he was diagnosed with a complete injury to the spinal cord at the C3 vertebrae. The result is that Michael is now tetraplegic - paralysed from the neck down, requiring a ventilator to breathe.
Those of you who know Michael will be aware that he is a key figure in the UK bicycle industry. He has steered the ship at Orange Mountain Bikes on a day-to-day basis for more than a decade and has championed many causes, people and ideas; both inside and outside of the cycle business. To all who know him personally or professionally, even to those who just know him by reputation, the news of his accident was devastating.
There is however, a glimmer of good news! Michael is a man with more determination and ‘gusto’ than most. In the weeks following his accident he has progressed considerably faster than any of the medical staff would have predicted. Each goal he achieves is the starting point to his next target. From the bleakest of possible outcomes on day one, Michael has achieved his goal of sitting upright and operating his motorized wheelchair months ahead of predictions.
Michael gave a great interview to Carlton Reid of the UK’s Bike Biz magazine.
Far from dwelling on his situation and highlighting the risks of cycling, this is what he said:
"I don't want anybody to stop riding bikes because they think they might injure themselves. I want people to get out there and ride bikes. I've spent all of my working life getting people excited about bikes and even though spinal injuries happen to cyclists, and especially to mountain bikers, it's very rare. I was unlucky, shit happens. Get out there and ride, for me."

Discover more about RIDE FOR MICHAEL at www.rideformichael.org

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