Businessman paralysed with rare neurological condition plans on conquering legendary French mountain Mont Ventoux

Ted Reddick at the summit of Mont Ventoux
Ted Reddick

A businessman who was struck down with a rare neurological condition is planning to conquer one of France’s legendary mountains on a bicycle for a second time after raising more than £32,000 for charity.

Ted Reddick was paralysed from the neck down when he was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis (otherwise known as TM), which is a disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord, in October 2018.

The 58-year-old’s condition has improved considerably due to intensive and costly neurological rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

Ted, who is owner of affordable housing delivery and land consultancy Landspeed, has been raising awareness of the rare condition having returned to Mont Ventoux – a 6,200ft mountain climb made famous by the Tour de France – to finish the ride (after an initial two hours on the bike and 13 miles of constant climbing) after he had to be helped from his bike as his legs had literally stopped working and he was left unable to walk.

Despite collapsing, he returned four days later to complete the remaining 3.5-mile ride from a standing start at an average gradient approaching 10 per cent to reach the summit.

After raising £32,325 in pledges which included £1,000 from Warwick-based L&Q Estates, one of the UK’s largest strategic land developers, Ted has set himself the challenge of returning in 2022 to complete the challenge in one go.

He said: “It was so tough to complete the ride. The idea this year was just to get to the top and I want to return again next year because if I don’t have a goal, I go backwards. I have to keep moving and doing activities otherwise my condition will deteriorate.

“The last kilometre was extremely testing, as the effect of the gradient was worsened by having to ride a section directly into a circa 20 mph headwind.

“My accompanying rider literally threw his bike onto the side of the road and ran alongside me to ensure that I could be assisted if the effects of TM took over but I managed to clear the penultimate bend before things started to ease slightly before the top.

“Although I failed to complete the ride non-stop in one day – which left me in some physical distress – I went back to finish the journey four days later and managed to complete the climb.”

Despite the difficulties of achieving the challenge and the range of emotions throughout the week, Ted has thanked everyone who has honoured their pledges of financial support.

He added: “I am extremely grateful to L&Q Estates and everyone who has pledged funds to raise awareness of TM.

“One of my aims of attempting to conquer Mont Ventoux was to help to provide funding for private neurological rehabilitation for people to get their lives back who don’t have the finance to get the help they need after being struck down by this rare, debilitating and misunderstood condition.”

Adrian Clack, group land director at L&Q Estates, said Ted was a truly inspirational figure to cycle such an arduous mountain despite his condition.

“Cycling up Mont Ventoux is an extremely difficult challenge and for Ted to complete this is remarkable,” he said.

“I admire his tenacity to return to complete his objective after 13 miles of cycling and being only three miles from the summit.

“At L&Q Estates, we were only too happy to have pledged £1,000 in sponsorship and after 36 months of recovery from TM. I know Ted will be pushing himself even harder – if that is possible – to complete the route in one go next year.”