Mike Ashton, 61, from Peterborough recently took part in the Ford RideLondon Sportive, cycling an incredible 100-miles around London and Essex.

What makes this story even more incredible is that few quadriplegics cycle the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100, but even fewer have cycled it firstly as an able-bodied rider and subsequently as a disabled cyclist, and that is exactly what Mike has achieved.

In September 2019, Mike Ashton, was involved in an accident which paralysed him from the shoulders down. Just a month before the accident he took on the 100-mile challenge.

This year Mike took part in Ford RideLondon-Essex 100 once again, only this time he was only able to use his arms and hands, fundraising for the charity Children with Cancer UK.

"I experienced a life-changing event in 2019 and it’s had a huge impact on me and my family,” he says.

“Cancer is life-changing for everyone regardless of age. Children and teenagers with cancer struck a special chord with me.

"Fundraising for Children with Cancer UK has given me new insights into childhood cancer - the treatments needing to be tailored for their particular needs; treatments that can be aggressive have significant side effects, and how the side effects can change the path of a child’s life, such as leaving them in a wheelchair for life."

Mike gave his medal to Reggie, a young boy undergoing treatment who is "truly inspiring".

Reggie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on January 20, 2022 when he was just eight years old. As of December 2023, after spending time in Great Ormand Street Hospital, Reggie is now two years into his treatment and it is going well.

"Having ridden in the sportive as an able-bodied cyclist, I knew that there would be supportive crowds along the way - however what was especially valued were the encouraging comments from other riders along the route," said Mike.

"I think what's unique about RideLondon has to be the incredible finish at Tower Bridge. As you turn left onto the bridge you see the towers and hear the crowd, it's just brilliant!"