Close to getting his tricycle

ALL SMILES: Grant Cowan tries a tricycle with Trikes NZ owner Brian Gilbert. It was this moment that sparked Mr Cowan's friends into action to raise $16,500 to buy the trike.

Stroke victim Grant Cowan is edging closer to getting back cycling.

Friends of the former police officer and triathlete rallied around the him after he suffered two strokes 18 months ago.

They set up a Go Fund Me page to buy a recumbent tricycle for the 52-year-old former Papanui resident.

Donations from 149 people reached $12,300 last Friday. They need $16,500 to buy the trike, which is able to be ridden while sitting down.

Mr Cowan lost the ability to speak, and lost feeling in his right arm and right leg after the stroke. He now lives at St John of God care facility in Halswell.

Mr Cowan’s friend of 30 years Rodger Wyatt told Western News in October that when he tried the trike at the Bike Expo, they saw an expression unseen for 18 months.

“The look on his face, he was just absolutely humming.”

Mr Cowan’s friends also took part in the Blue Dog six-hour blast at McLeans Island in October to raise awareness for their cause. They won the race.

Mr Cowan’s best friend Derrick Murray said they also want to raise awareness about strokes among 40-50 year-olds.

The Stroke Foundation of New Zealand recommends learning three observations to look for when identifying stroke victims.

If the person’s face is drooping on one side, if one arm is weak or if their speech is slurred, phone 111.

It’s abbreviated as FAST. Face, Arm, Speech and Take action.

•To donate money for Mr Cowan’s trike, visit