Claire Lomas celebrates one of her biggest achievements

Claire Lomas celebrates attaining her motorbike racing licence EMN-170728-161941001
Claire Lomas celebrates attaining her motorbike racing licence EMN-170728-161941001
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Claire Lomas has racked up a series of remarkable achievements but she says becoming the first paralysed woman to attain a licence for racing motorbikes is one of her biggest.

The 37-year-old had never even sat on a bike before a catastrophic horseriding accident 10 years ago left her paralysed below her chest.

But she took on a series of gruelling athletic challenges using adapted equipment and raised more than £500,000 for a paralysis charity.

Claire, of Eye Kettleby, also rekindled her love for skiing using special ski and when she was offered the chance to ride motorcycles she jumped at it.

And she has just passed her licence to be able to race bikes on the track, despite not being able to feel the machine below her.

She told the Melton Times: “It has to be one of my biggest achievements.

“The first paralysed female in the UK to have race licence, I think.

I had never even sat on a bike before my accident .

“The feeling of freedom I feel on my bike is hard to describe, especially as I am usually wheelchair-bound.

“Going up to 100mph felt exciting . I love it.”

The opportunity to ride motorcycles came after Claire gave a motivational talk last year. Rockingham Motor Speedway circuit, near Corby, offered her the use of the track.

And because she missed the adrenaline rush from competing at a high level at eventing, Claire took it up.

She was unlucky to encounter slippery conditions in her first attempt to pass the ACU bike racing licence in June at Snetterton.

But Claire managed to get her licence at Donington Park.

“I can’t believe I have my ACU licence,” she said.

“It is certainly challenging with no feeling or movement from the chest down.

“Some Velcro stops my legs moving and I have a gear shifter I use with my left hand.

“I think I was more nervous on the two test days for the licence then when I rode in the cross country at the Burghley Horse Trials in 2006.”

Claire is grateful for the support of people at the Rockingham track for helping her find another new exciting sport to do

Her challenge to attain her licence has also been supported by the Matt Hampson Foundation, which helps people who suffer life-changing injuries through sport.

Claire has no immediate plans to take part in any bike races but it is something she would like to do when she gets more used to riding on the track.

She added: “I am looking forward to gaining more experience now by doing track days and will keep going to Rockingham when I can.”