The nicknames of 685 Twitter users who included the hashtag #simonstrong when tweeting to show their support for Paralympic champion Simon Richardson after he was seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident last month have been incorporated into the design of a stunning looking bike produced by his close friend Chris Grove, owner of Performance Race Art.
Simon, who was placed in an induced coma after the incident which took place in Bridgend last month, is now recovering at home after being discharged from hospital and Grove hopes that the custom frame with it's very special paint job will help encourage him as he makes his recovery.
“Whilst my close friend lay critically injured, I put my energy into creating an iconic bike which Simon could see when he fully recovered,” he explained. “The bike is a testament to the togetherness of the cycling community and all those people who sent wishes from afar.
“It’s the first bike in the world with a paint design crowd sourced via Twitter and I hope it will inspire Simon to get back in the saddle for all those people supporting him,” he added.
You can see the #Simonstrong bike for yourselves later this week when it will be displayed on the USE stand at the Cycle Show in Birmingham… and if you are one of the 685 who used the #simonstrong you can come and find yourself on there, we'll certainly be having a look when we're at the show.
The hashtag itself, plus Twitter’s little blue bird logo, appears on both the down tube and the front forks, denoting the number of people who used it, is also shown, while the top tube shows Richardon’s own user name on the social networking site, @CyclingSimonMBE.
As to when he will be back on the road Simon is still unsure, he sees his back specialist next week to if he will need an operation, but he is planning already, working towards that day and setting himself some challenging goals for when he does climb back on a bike:
"One of the first things I want to do is a 700+ ride around Wales for the Air Ambulance in about 7 days," he says, he also plans to ride competitively again.
In the meantime he will be doing a lot of work on an indoor bike. "The main reason for indoor training is I lost 3 stone in weight while in hospital and most of my muscle has gone."
You can keep up with Simon's progress by following him on Twitter @CyclingSimonMBE.
If you are going to visit the Cycle Show there's a special ticket offer price for road.cc users of just £11.50 per ticket - that's £4 off the standard ticket price. You can buy tickets by going to www.cycleshow.co.uk/book or calling 0844 848 0132 and entering the discount code ‘RCC’. The offer price does not include a £1 booking fee.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.