A former soldier who was seriously injured when joyriders knocked him off his bike is getting back in the saddle to help victims of the London and Manchester terror attacks.
Belfast-born David McBride, 55, grew up in Northern Ireland at the height of The Troubles and says he has seen first-hand how terrorism destroys lives.
Moved to help after the attacks which killed 30 and injured dozens more, he has now pledged to cycle 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise funds for the UK Solidarity Appeal set up by the British Red Cross.
Despite being an experienced cyclist, the trip will be no mean feat for David who is still undergoing physiotherapy for injuries sustained during last summer’s crash.
The former military veteran with 15 years’ service was in Dudley town centre when a stolen car crossed two lines of traffic and ploughed into him in the cycle lane. The driver has never been traced.
He said: “I was in such a bad way that doctors initially thought I had broken my neck and my back. I had to have six hours of corrective surgery to sew the muscles back on to my shoulder and arm. My face was covered in cuts and I fractured my cheek and lost two teeth.
“I’m still having physiotherapy and it has been hard getting back on the bike after all that. Most of my training has been on the indoor bike because of my injuries, even when my arm was in a sling.
“It will be tough, it gets extremely painful if I do more than three or four hours on the bike each day, but I set myself a target. There are a lot of people far worse off than me.
David, who lives with wife Anastra in Rowley Regis, qualified as a lawyer after leaving the Army and is now head of employment at Slater and Gordon’s Birmingham branch.
Starting on Monday, his break from the office will see him cycle 80 to 100 miles each day for 13 days as part of a group trip run through ‘Discover Adventure.’
He added: “I wasn’t going to do it for charity before the attacks, but I was brought up at the height of The Troubles with bombs and shootings going on around me every day and I have seen how terrorism affects people.
“I know that money can’t replace the hurt of those families who have lost loved ones or those who have been injured, but it may help ease the burden they are likely to have to carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
David is fundraising for the British Red Cross’ ‘UK Solidarity Fund’ to help victims of terror attacks anywhere in the UK.
To sponsor him go to justgiving.com/fundraising/David-McBride13