Stroke survivor Andy Ibbott is set to face his biggest charity challenge yet, Everest Base Camp in aid of MotoGP charity Two Wheels for Life.
Ibbott’s life has always revolved around motorcycles, leading him to become one of the top motorcycling journalists and riding instructors in the UK, passing on his knowledge to Grand Prix champions, and even members of the Royal Family.
A catastrophic stroke in 2011, following the discovery of a small lump on his neck and subsequent routine operation, however, left him with just a five percent chance of survival. The preceding six months were spent in intensive care, where he couldn’t walk, talk or even eat and drink.
After painstakingly re-learning everything again from scratch during his recovery over the past decade, Ibbott has completed a number of intense challenges for charity, including cycling from London to Paris on a tandem bicycle, taking part in the Marathon de Sables, the world’s toughest on-foot race, as well as the Half Marathon De Sables, and twice finishing the Brighton Half Marathon.
Throughout everything Ibbott’s passion for two wheels has remained. In 2022, he is aiming to raise £10,000 for official MotoGP charity, Two Wheels for Life, by climbing Everest Base Camp.
“I have been mad about motorbikes for as long as I can remember, and that has never stopped,’ Ibbot explained. “My love of motorbikes led me to a career in journalistic riding. I also brought the California Superbike School to the UK, Ireland, India, Norway, the Middle East. We had a successful business worldwide helping over 100,000 riders.
“I was one of the top 3 journalistic riders in the UK. I started a racing career, then one day I crashed and broke my back. That put an instant stop to my racing career but it didn’t stop me from coaching riders, including Thomas Luthi, Sandro Cortese, Karel Abraham, Leon Camier and not forgetting, Valentino Rossi.
“I was also honoured to be asked to coach Prince William, then Prince Harry and both of them together on bike skills.
“One minute I’m at the top of my game, the next minute I lost my business, I could no longer ride bikes, I couldn’t coach bike riders, I couldn’t continue my writing, I couldn’t do anything at all. I felt suicidal.
“I’ve had to learn to do everything again but this time with only the use of one arm, partial use of one leg and full use of my other leg. I have, in effect, half a brain. I have Aphasia which affects my speech. But I have to keep moving; I have to better myself; I will not give in or give up.
"So, for my next challenge, I wanted to do something big that not only helped people less fortunate than us here in the UK, but also promoted how motorcycles help save lives, and that’s exactly what Two Wheels for Life and Riders for Health does,” he continued.
“Although I am petrified of heights and this challenge will completely push me to my limits, I know the motorcycling community is an extremely generous one, so I’m hoping it will inspire and encourage riders to donate and help this fantastic cause.”
All of the money raised by Andy’s Everest Base Camp climb will go to life-saving programmes in some of the poorest and most remote areas of Africa thanks to the work of Two Wheels for Life’s charity partner, Riders for Health. Ensuring health workers have access to dependable vehicles, primarily motorcycles, so they can provide healthcare services reliably to even the most remote and vulnerable communities.
Riders for Health programmes have also been vital in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic in the four countries where they operate – Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria and The Gambia.
You can support Andy’s Everest Base Camp climb by donating here.