Not so long ago, our Swindon Champion, Anna Cipullo, wrote a blog about Amanda Nelson detailing a strong independent women determined to battle through complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in order to continue cycling.
Amanda Nelson prepares for LEJOG

Unfortunately the complexity of Amanda’s health issues have increased, and yet so has her determination to remain a cyclist. Amanda says: “In terms of my health, my pain levels have increased tenfold since I have started cycling but emotionally I am so much better. The latter certainly helps me to cope with the pain. I get such a buzz from cycling that I have no intentions of quitting no matter how bad my pain becomes.”

Cycling UK Cycling Development Officer, Anna Cipullo, is key to the development of cycling in Swindon and since meeting Amanda has turned her life around. Amanda was introduced to Cycling for All [2] classes set up by the Cycling UK Cycle Champions [3] Project where she used specially adaptive cycles that would accommodate the lack of mobility and strength in her legs. If you’ve read the blog [4] you will know that regular adaptive classes wasn’t enough for ex-mountain biking and touring Amanda, so she set herself the task of riding a tandem cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats (often referred to as LEJOG).

My greatest achievements to date are conquering Cliffe Pypard hill, then another day I cycled up over Hackpen Hill [from Swindon] to Marlborough. I cycled 32 miles one day and in one week managed 100 miles. Not bad seeing as the last time we chatted I had only managed 10 miles." Amanda Nelson

Since writing the blog [4], Anna developed a list of keen cycling volunteers to ride tandem with Amanda on a regular basis so that she could regularly train for the event. This led Amanda to go from barely walking to cycling two or three times a week. She confesses that the occasional week, with the help of her husband, she is out on her bike every day.

Amanda has also used her reacquainted joy to motivate others inspiring people to get on their bike or get riding with her. In August 2012, she met up with a group of partially-sighted Hungarians who were cycling 2012 km from Hungary to London. Amanda met them in Gillingham, Kent, to cycle the final 40 miles with them.

Amanda will soon have her own website and has designed a jersey ready for her LEJOG ride. She is now getting a great deal of help from the Local Rotary Club and has had a Mercian tandem bicycle donated to her from Charlotte’s Tandems [5], but is still in need of volunteers and support. If you are in the Swindon area and think you would like to cycle tandem with Amanda, or you are a business that would like to sponsor her, please email [6] her.