Injured Seaton woman completes the Furloughed Flyer

Liz Salde during her Furloughed Flyer. Picture: FORCE

Liz Salde during her Furloughed Flyer. Picture: FORCE - Credit: Archant

Even a dislocated collar bone could not stop Seaton woman Liz Slade getting on her bike to raise money for a cancer charity.

Liz, a legal secretary, had been looking forward to taking part in this year’s FORCE Cancer Charity Nello cycle ride across Devon.

But on a training ride with husband Jeremy in April she hit a pothole going downhill at 20mph.

The mum-of-two flew over the handlebars, landed heavily and suffered a serious dislocation of her clavicle that required surgery to insert a special screw that pins the bone into place.

“I almost overtook my husband as I flew through the air and split my cycle helmet in half when I landed on the tarmac,” she said.

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The Nello - FORCE’s biggest single annual fundraiser - has now been postponed because of coronavirus, with cyclists now being asked to complete virtual rides.

Determined Liz signed up for their Furloughed Flyer and completed the 25-miles on a turbo trainer and wearing a sling.

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She said: “I like to have a goal and it gave me something to aim for. I was absolutely determined the injury wasn’t going to stop me.”

Now Liz, furloughed from work at Scott Rowe solicitors in Axminster, and her husband Jeremy plan to line up for the Nello 100-mile challenge next year.

Mr Slade, a self-employed service delivery manager, has ridden the full distance event before and is doing the virtual 55-mile for 2020..

The couple were particularly looking forward to riding together at this year’s event after Jeremy’s recovery from bowel cancer, a disease that claimed the life of Liz’s beloved grandmother.

He was diagnosed just six weeks after being made redundant.

Chemotherapy and five weeks of radiotherapy saw him get the all-clear but the couple say they won’t forget the kindness shown by FORCE volunteers running the snack bar at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital’s Oncology Centre during their regular visits for treatment.

“They were so lovely and always made us feel welcome whenever we stopped for a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of fruit cake after Jeremy’s treatment,” said Liz.

Now she and Jeremy are keen to support NHS and cancer charities and are encouraging others to get on their bikes and sign up for the FORCE Virtual Nello.

“It’s all about you and your ability. If you are pushing yourself to achieve something you didn’t think you could, you are winning,” added Liz.

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