Man paralysed in tractor accident set for 75 mile handcycle

Luke Delahunty from Aylesbury is hand-cycling the Chilterns Challenge
Luke Delahunty from Aylesbury is hand-cycling the Chilterns Challenge

A disabled man who was paralysed when his motorbike crashed into a tractor will handcycle 75 miles for charity in March.

Luke Delahunty, 41, is cycling the longest route of the Chilterns Cycle Challenge, from which sponsorship money supports Rennie Grove Hospice.

He crashed his motorbike into a tractor on the way to work at RAF Honington in 1996 and was paralysed from the chest down.

Now, the former RAF cadet works at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital’s spinal injuries centre where he was rehabilitated, helping educate patients on their injuries and teach them mobility skills.

Mr Delahunty said: “The circle is complete and it’s quite cool to come back.

“It is very rewarding work, helping them and to know we are making a difference.

“They need to know about their injuries and how to manage them.”

Mr Delahunty took up hand-cycling when he moved to his Anson Close home in Stoke Mandeville four years ago.

Since then, he has taken part in a number of cycles including London to Paris with 450 others from which they raised £35,000 for the Spinal Injuries Association.

A shoulder injury stopped Mr Delahunty from taking part in last year’s challenge but he’s looking forward to getting back in shape.

He said: “Going uphill is hard but coming down is pretty damn quick. I’ve been up to 51mph!

“It is all arms but I don’t go to the gym. I train at home on the turbo-trainer but it is a bit boring.

“The joy of cycling is getting out and enjoying the views.”

The Chilterns Cycle Challenge starts from Kingsbury on March 23.