CLAIRE LOMAS is one impressive lady. After becoming a paraplegic following a horse riding accident in 2007, she took on a massive fundraising mission, walked the London marathon, had two children and learnt to ride a motorcycle.
The 38-year-old’s next challenge was to ride a lap of the Isle of Man TT Snaefell Mountain Course. However, the Manx Motor Cycle Club, which authorises races on the road circuit, have scuppered these plans, deciding that the iconic 37-mile road course would be too dangerous for her.
“The Manx Motor Cycle Club were very keen to support the remarkable Claire Lomas when she approached us about her ambitious attempt to lap the TT Mountain Course on a solo motorcycle,” said a spokesperson.
“However, we have concerns about her level of experience in motorcycling to date and the demanding nature of the challenge that she has set herself.
“The TT Mountain Course has varying terrain and over 227 corners – it is both a major mental and physical challenge – and we feel that based on her development sessions with rider coaches, this year’s event is too soon for her to complete the challenge safely. As race organisers we are duty bound to act responsibly and have therefore advised Claire that we cannot permit the lap this year.”
But in her typically perseverant spirit Claire, from Melton Mowbray, will now lap each of the nine BSB circuits ahead of each race, after series director Stuart Higgs got in touch on Twitter.
We are very proud to promote and support Claire’s next challenge. https://t.co/LNjBJqEXYl
— Stuart Higgs (@stuarthiggs) 11 July 2018
She will tackle the challenge aboard her adapted Suzuki SV650, with toe clips to prevent her feet moving and velcro to hold her knees in place. She had already fundraised thousands of pounds for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, The Bike Experience, which aims to get more disabled people on bikes, and The Matt Hampson Foundation, which supports injured sports people, and she will continue to raise money during the BSB challenge.
Speaking to the Melton Times Claire commented: “Initially I was disappointed about the Isle of Man lap. I had trained hard with the help of Rockingham and MSV trackdays and I felt I was on target for the lap. However, if I get to do the challenge another year then the more experienced I am the better it will be. I respect their reasons and I am focusing on gaining more experience.”
She added: “I will be riding on the Sunday of the race meetings. I will be nervous but excited and honoured to have this amazing opportunity. I won’t know all the tracks so that makes it more daunting but I will continue doing MSV trackdays and improving my riding in the meantime.”
— Claire Lomas MBE (@claire80lomas) 18 July 2018
Claire will be holding a charity ride out from her hometown on Sunday 5th August, to raise money for her causes. You can also visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clairesiomttlap and www.claireschallenge.co.uk to support her.