WHEN Amanda Nelson developed pain in her foot in 2010, she could never have imagined the effect it was going to have on her life.
Mrs Nelson, 43, of Royal Wootton Bassett, was training for a half-marathon when she discovered she had a congenital foot deformity.
She spent months in agony after an operation but last year she discovered Charlotte’s Tandems, a charity which lends bikes to people with disabilities.
Now she is set to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Mrs Nelson said: “In April last year, my husband and I, with my crutches strapped to the bike, ventured out for the first time.
“I was like the Cheshire Cat. It had been 18 months since I felt such a sense of freedom and I felt fantastic.
“Despite having been a mountain biker previously, mastering cycling again was not as easy as I thought it would be. Every few hundred yards my left foot would fly out of the clip and I would struggle to get it back in.
“Even though I was frustrated and in immense pain, I knew I had found something I could focus on and enjoy. I had found a new challenge and I had managed three miles to boot.”
She has now been told that she has a neurological condition called complex regional pain syndrome, an incurable disorder where a person suffers a chronic burning pain in one of their limbs.
“Having the diagnosis and a focus has given me a new found determination to accept my disability and make the most of the things,” she said.
“I do not take any medication these days despite the increase in my pain levels, and my walking is still as poor as it was.
“The cycling, despite increasing my pain, gives me a great feeling of achievement and emotional wellbeing.”
Mrs Nelson, who spent a sleepless night before deciding to take on the 876-mile challenge in May, said: “Despite cycling one legged – my left one just follows – I have increased my mileage quite substantially.
“I have cycled 80 miles from Wootton Bassett to Bournemouth in one day and was an outrider for a group of blind and visually impaired cyclists on the last 45 miles of their ride from Hungary to London.”
To sponsor her, visit www.lejog-crps.co.uk