A Hose man is preparing to cycle more than 800 miles from the northern coast of France to the border with Spain in aid of two charities.
Richard Harris expects to take 10 days to complete his challenge, which is in support of the Matt Hampson Foundation, which supports people who have suffered catastrophic injuries playing sport, and Prostate Cancer UK.
The route, from Roscoff in Brittany to Hendaye Plage in the south-west, will be 70 per cent off-road, on canal towpaths and disused railways.
Richard, a podiatrist, said: “I am not actually a regular cyclist but last June a mate and I rode 530 miles from Normandy to my holiday home in the Lot department in south-west France after agreeing with each other to do so over many beers.
“Fast forward from never wanting to get on a bike again to seeing it in the shed and thinking ‘what the hell, you can do it’, or something like that, I decided that if I was going to go through all the pain again it would have to be for a good cause.”
He plans to take a ferry from Plymouth on July 3 and will start cycling as soon as he gets ashore the next day. Richard will need to ride and average 80 miles a day, staying overnight in Redon, Nantes, Ile de Noirmoutier, Les Sables d’Olonne, La Rochelle, Royan, Arcachon and Leon before arriving at the finish.
Richard, a will be carrying his luggage and cycle spares for the first three days before wife, Julie, joins him to carry it all in a car from then on.
He chose the Matt Hampson Foundation after seeing the fine work being done at their Get Busy Living Centre, at Burrough, while treating one of their guests through his work at Oakham-based Instep Podiatry.
“The reason I went for Prostate Cancer UK as a chosen charity was because I lost my father to the disease when he was only 58 so it is a cause that is obviously quite poignant for me personally and also because it is a disease that affects so many men in the UK,” added Richard.
Go online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-harris63 to sponsor Richard for his cycle through France.