Local cyclists invited to support 'Manx Magic'


A UK charity which empowers people with disabilities to discover the joy of cycling will arrive on the Isle of Man next month for an action-packed two-wheeled adventure.

EMpowered people, which enables adults with disabilities to improve their health and wellbeing through cycling and other activities, is bringing a group of nine riders with varying levels of disability and 14 support volunteers for a three-day ride around the Isle of Man.

The epic five-day cycling adventure known as ‘Manx Magic’ will begin in Todmorden, West Yorkshire on Sunday 30th June, where the riders will make their way to Conder Green in Lancaster for an overnight stop. The following day will see the group cycle to Heysham Port to catch the ferry to Douglas, where they will experience their first taste of ‘Manx Magic’.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is offering its support by assisting with the cost of return ferry travel for the riders, support team, bikes, equipment and vehicles.

Upon arrival in the Isle of Man, the group will make their way to their accommodation, The Joey Dunlop Foundation - Braddan Bridge House, which has been specially designed for guests with disabilities.

The riders will then get an early night before kicking things off on Tuesday 2nd July with a 36 mile ride. Setting off from their accommodation, they’ll make their way along Marine Drive in Douglas and head to the south of the island, stopping in Port St Mary for lunch, then back to Douglas via the Heritage Trail.

Day two will see the group tackle the north of the island for a challenging 46 mile cycle. They’ll make their way over the Mountain Road heading to Andreas via Tholt-y-Will Glen and into Ramsey. They’ll then take the coast road through Laxey where they’ll meet Richard Hird, the Steam Packet Company’s Business Development Executive, who will join them for the final leg of their journey back to the Joey Dunlop Foundation.

The final day on Manx roads will see EMpowered people take on a 35 mile ride starting in central Douglas, before heading west to Peel via Glen Vine and Cronk-y-Voddy. After lunch at the Kipper Factory they’ll make their way back to Douglas on the Old Railway Line, concluding their Isle of Man cycling adventure.

Simon Lord, founder of the charity, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1986, and is now recognised for his quest in promoting the benefits of an active lifestyle. With the use of a Pedal Assisted Electric Cycle, he has improved his health, gained freedom and independence and got involved in social and sporting events that able-bodied people take for granted.

He said: ‘Based over five days and covering a total of 210 miles, there’s no doubt that ‘Manx Magic’ will be our most challenging event to date. It’s designed to test each of our EMpowered cyclists as they tackle the diverse terrain around the beautiful Isle of Man, and help them realise the amazing things they can achieve. We want to prove that with the right help and support, disabled people can reach horizons and smash goals that once seemed insurmountable.

‘With such challenging, wide-ranging landscape and so many cycling legends hailing from the island, it’s the perfect destination for our epic journey and we can’t wait to take to the island’s roads. We’re keen to get local cyclists to pop out and support our ride too, it would be amazing to create a bit of a buzz. Everyone is welcome to come along, ride with us or just say hello - the riders would definitely appreciate the extra support!

‘We really can’t thank the Steam Packet Company enough for its generosity and support. Everyone we’ve approached on the island has been happy to help which just goes to show what a fantastic place the Isle of Man is.’

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘EMpowered people is an inspiring charity which brings together people who are affected by a disability and have a love and passion for cycling. Simon and his team have organised an epic cycling adventure on the Isle of Man and I hope they all thoroughly enjoy their time here – it’s a pleasure to support their trip.’

Some of the EMpowered cyclists at a recent cycling event in the UK
Some of the EMpowered cyclists at a recent cycling event in the UK