A PASSION TO COMPETE
For Danny Thomson it was a case of getting back in the saddle after a horrific accident and setting himself a challenge most of us would simply baulk at – a gruelling 200-mile cycle race amidst some of the most picturesque peaks in Europe.
The keen cyclist spent nine months getting himself ready to take on one of the toughest routes Spain has to offer when he decided to take part in the Mallorca 312 Sportive – a highlight of the cycling calendar.
The annual event has grown over the years and this year attracted some 6,500 participants determined to complete the 312 kilometre, or 195 mile, route taking in the magnificent mountain range the Serra de Tramuntana.
A tall order for anyone to complete, but for Danny the challenge was made even greater after an accident involving a pothole while cycling last year left him with a badly injured right arm.
However the 43-year-old, who caught the cycling bug ten years ago after repeated injuries put paid to his love of running, was determined that nothing would get in his way to complete the daunting “Mallorca 312”.
After a period of recuperation Danny, a highly experienced Team Leader at personal injury specialists Gildeas, set about getting himself fit enough to compete in the race, which attracts keen cyclists from all over the world.
For nine months whenever he got the chance, come rain, wind, more rain, even more wind and yet more rain (this is Scotland after all!), he pushed himself to get to a fitness level where he could take on almost 200 miles of stunning, yet tough, rocky terrain.
But last weekend (29th April) he did just that and completed the challenging route in a respectable 13 hours and 30 mins.
Cycling has been undergoing a boom in Scotland in recent years – much of it due to the success of British Olympians such as Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton.
Whether for leisure, travelling to school or the commute to work, a growing number of people are ditching the train or car and opting to pedal.
Despite improvements on road casualty figures over recent years, cycling accidents involving light goods vehicles and vans which resulted in death or serious injury rose from 5.3 per cent (2006 – 2010 average) to 10.6 per cent in 2015, according to figures from Transport Scotland .
Yesterday, safely back at his desk, Danny insisted his approach to cycling mirrored exactly his approach to handling personal injury claims on behalf of concerned clients or their families.
He said: “I was determined to not just bounce back after my cycling accident, but to push beyond that.
“Just getting back to normal fitness was not going to get me through the “312”. It was the first time I had competed in it, but I knew that it would take me at least nine months of hard graft in all kinds of weather to be ready for it.
“I’ve always enjoyed a challenge and overcoming it – it’s what gives me a real, deep sense of satisfaction. It’s the same approach I take with my job – fighting hard to get the best deal I can for my clients.”
He added: “At Gildeas we deal with all manner of personal injury claims, but I have personally witnessed the number of cases involving cyclists handled by my team grow.”
“Cycling has really been taking off in Scotland over the past ten years or so, but I would recommend any cyclist involved in any kind of road accident to seek appropriate legal advice.”