A former Crawley pub landlord who was paralysed from the waist down in an accident has completed his most ambitious challenge yet.
Hand-cyclist Rob Groves, 62, took on a solo 2,500 mile, 27-day ride around England’s coastline to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans.
He collected 109,000 signatures and will be asking the government for more education on climate change and plastic pollution in schools.
He set off from Brighton Pier on July 2, and finished on Friday (July 28), outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Rob also raised £10,000 for his five chosen charities, and said donations were still coming in.
He said: “I am so pleased that I was able to complete this challenge for so many reasons.
I feel special and privileged to have been able to experience a once in a life time dream.Rob Groves
“My aim was to bring awareness to our dying oceans and to prove what a disabled hand-cyclist can do.
“At the finish I experienced a cocktail of surprise, relief and happiness, a mission accomplished, a dream achieved. I feel special and privileged to have been able to experience a once in a life time dream.
“I visited schools during my challenge to speak to children about environmental issues. I collected 109,000 signatures from children all over the UK, it was very inspiring to see so many children take an interest in our oceans.
“Another goal was to prove what a disabled hand-cyclist can do and engage people who may not have seen hand-cycles before, or who have simply seen them as gadgets and not realised that the person riding in a hand-cycle is disabled. This journey was also about inspiring those with a disability that you can be active.”
Rob was joined by other disabled hand-cyclists on the coastal trek and said a ‘special highlight’ was meeting eight-year-old Jack from Hong Kong in Blackpool, who joined him for the first three miles on his way to Whitehaven.
“I have so many highlights from this journey but this one really made it for me,” Rob said.
“Jack was diagnosed with Perthes Disease in November 2016, and he now uses crutches and a wheelchair. I have been helping Jack on how to hand-cycle.”
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