Cyclist back in the saddle for charity

This Is Wiltshire: Dan Pierce, who is doing a charity bike ride from Cardiff to Paris Dan Pierce, who is doing a charity bike ride from Cardiff to Paris

DAN Pierce is getting back on his bike after an accident in a bid to raise money for Swindon Down’s Group.

His brother Sam, has Down’s Syndrome and Dan, 30, had planned to ride from from Cardiff to Paris last September to boost their funds but an accident a week before he was due to depart left him in hospital for two weeks needing 26 stitches in his head.

He is now back in the saddle and, along with friends Sam Farnfield and Andy Dakin has so far raised more than £1,200 for the Downs Group.

The trio will set off on Saturday morning before passing through Dan’s home town of Swindon on the way to the French capital.

Dan was inspired to ride by his brother Sam, 23.

“With my brother having Down’s it is a big motivator for me to get back on the bike,” said Dan, who is currently living in the Rhondda, in South Wales.

“My employer Legal and General have matched the first £500 we raised, and we have got sponsorships going around at work as well.

“The whole thing was due to take place in September last year, but about a week before I just came off my bike fairly spectacularly on a flat stretch of road with no traffic around.

“I can’t remember what happened, I just splattered across the road. It took 26 stitches in hospital, 13 in the muscle tissue underneath and another 13 to patch it up.”

Dan hopes the funds can help the group get out and enjoy some trips and activities.

“Hopefully the money will go towards some of the activities they take part in, like their time with the fire service which my brother particularly enjoys,” he said.

“They do a lot of leisure stuff for the kids and young adults.

“They really enjoy their days out, and with the fire service they do a course across a couple of days which is quite expensive, so it would be great to be able to give something back for all the held they have given my brother over the years.

“He has been going to them since he was born so they have done a lot for him.”

Dan’s mother Leslye Pierce, 51, said: “I am as proud as punch of him.

“He does not have a normal athlete’s shape, but he just wanted to do something.

“He rides to and from work every day, which is around 26 miles each way.

“Everyone always does Lands End to John O’Groats, but he has decided to go from Cardiff to Paris, taking in the Arch to Arch route.

“It took him about two months to recover properly from his accident , “And he had lost the feeling on one side of his face because he had nerve damage behind his eye.

“Dan wanted his money to go to restricted funds for family fun, so they can all go out on trips and days out.”

To sponsor Dan and the team visit http://www.justgiving.com/SwindonDownsGroupRide2013

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