Dad prepares for marathon ride

WHEN David Dixon's life was turned upside down by a traumatic accident he feared he would never be able to go back to his favourite hobby.But less than a year after suffering serious head injuries, the Suffolk dad is planning a cycle ride from the Tyne to the Orwell.

WHEN David Dixon's life was turned upside down by a traumatic accident he feared he would never be able to go back to his favourite hobby.

But less than a year after suffering serious head injuries, the Suffolk dad is planning a cycle ride from the Tyne to the Orwell.

Mr Dixon's life changed on the day his daughter got married - and not for the right reasons.

Shortly after the ceremony in London, a fall caused severe head injuries and he was hospitalised and in need of constant care.

Last year, Mr Dixon told how the constant support he has had from two Suffolk charities had helped him recover from the accident and look forward to a brighter future.

And now, he wants to repay some of that kindness and has challenged himself to get back in the saddle and complete a 400-mile sponsored cycle ride.

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Before his accident, Mr Dixon was a keen cyclist and had taken part in a number of long rides across the country, including the Sea To Sea Challenge, which goes from the Irish Sea to the North Sea, and he had also cycled from Padstow to Bath and along the South Downs Way to raise money for other charities.

His latest challenge will see him riding from Newcastle to Felixstowe to raise money for head injury charity Headway and ICANHO, a Stowmarket-based brain injury rehabilitation centre.

“I thought this would be a good way to raise sponsorship funds and do something where I knew what I was doing,” said Mr Dixon.

“All the other rides I've done were before I had the accident but now I think I'd like to get on my bike again to show I have made progress and to give something back.”

Mr Dixon will be following a route along the coast and old railway lines and said he expects the challenge to take him ten days.

“I'll be doing it a lot slower now, although I think it will help prove I'm getting back to normal and I want to help the people who have been helping me.”

Mr Dixon will begin the ride on September 2, in Tynemouth, where he is originally from.

“I will dip my front tyre in the Tyne when I start off and then hope to dip my front tyre in the sea in Felixstowe when I finish,” he said.

“Every part of it is a challenge but it is something I've done before so I'm confident I can do it again, but it is going to challenge me in every way.”

Mr Dixon will be joined by his brother Robert in Durham for the first day of the ride and later by his wife Tina when he reaches Kings Lynn in Norfolk.

Mr and Mrs Dixon have already held a fundraising event for the two charities by organising an evening of clairvoyance with television psychic Tony Stockwell last year, which raised £1,800.

Anyone who would like to sponsor Mr Dixon can contact him by emailing tinadixon@btinternet.com or calling 01473 657758.

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