Isle of Man TT winner Mark Cox is taking on the ‘ride of his life’ to raise funds for fellow TT sidecar star Rick Long.
While racing as passenger alongside Nick Crowe at the TT in 2009, Mark sustained serious injuries in a high speed crash.
His recovery is ongoing, but he has decided to put his fitness to the test this weekend by cycling three laps of the Mountain course - the equivalent of a complete Sidecar TT race.
He is taking on the marathon task to raise funds for Rick, who suffered massive injuries in an accident at an invitation race at the Hockenheimring in 2008. Tragically the incident claimed the life of his driver Steve Norbury.
His three laps of the 37.7-mile Mountain circuit, on August 26, will be made all the more remarkable because, three years on from the crash, he still faces further surgery, including operations on both knees and a hip replacement.
“My own recovery is going OK. It will just take a very long time, a lot of operations and hard work, but I know I will get there.”
“It came up during conversation with Rick in the run up to Christmas, when the challenge was born, that he was going through a tough patch at that time financially and also incredible pain, there was some doubt about whether he would keep the surviving leg.”
“He was limiting the use of his heating to help ends meet and to me that just didn't seem right for a sportsman of his standing.”
“I have been working on my own fitness recovery since the accident at the TT09 and keep setting myself new targets. My fitness training has always been a big part of what I am, but cycling has definitely one of my weaker, damn, what's that word – disciplines? I suggested to my trainer that maybe cycling a lap of the TT course would be a good way to build my strength up in preparation for the operations due on my knees and hips, while at the same time raising some funds to help Rick.”
“Of course, that then turned into 3 laps, approx 114 miles, the same as a full length Sidecar TT and the challenge was born.”
Mark thanked Geoff Wyles Cycles, Strood, Terry Moore at Rochester Health Club, training partner Dave Dodds, Opal Fabrications, Marshall Kinrade for his financial support, Simon Bigg for the loan of the bike, Gabs Burne and Si Gilbert for taking the bike to the Isle of Man.
Mark is due to set off from the TT Grandstand between 6am and 7am on August 26, and hopes to complete the challenge in less than 12 hours.
If you would like to make a donation to the fundraising effort, you can make payments to the HSBC bank account Injured Sidecar racer Richard (Rick) Long, Sort Code 40-32-24, Account Number 31286129, or using the International Bank Account Number GB66MIDL, Sort Code 40-32-24, Account Number 31286129. (If asked for BIC or SWIFT details, they are MIDLGB22).
Further details on how to make a donation, and the latest on Mark’s progress, are available from SteveEnglish.com