Graham Ireland is gearing up for a 700-mile charity cycle ride from Barcelona to Bilbao in northern Spain next month.
The 62-year-old solicitor will be riding in aid of Cystic Fibrosis in a mammoth seven-day challenge across the Pyrenees mountains from June 22 to 29.
Graham, a director and head of conveyancing at WHN, will be among 24 cyclists in an event they have named the Med2Atlantic Challenge.
The event will cover about 100 miles each day, with the riders staying at B&Bs and hotels. Each day, they will set off from the previous night’s accommodation and cycle to the one where they will stay at the end of that day’s stage.
Graham said: “The main problem isn’t so much the distances as cycling over the Pyrenees, which are very mountainous and challenging.
“I’m riding for Cystic Fibrosis because I have a very good friend whose daughter suffers from it. The challenge was his idea and I was perfectly happy to be part of it.”
Graham took part in a similar event two years ago when he completed a 600-mile Alpine challenge along routes used in the Tour de France, and raised £6,800 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation and Blackburn Youth Zone.
He said: “I was invited to take part in this latest challenge 12 months ago and will be riding with people who took part in the last challenge, many of whom have become friends. In terms of training, I have managed to stay on the roads through the winter months. Cycling through wind, rain and snow and on icy roads, is particularly hard – but on the plus side, I have saved a fortune in petrol.”
Graham’s training regime involves cycling 15-20 miles every day, with much longer rides over the weekends. Earlier this month, he notched up 110 miles in one training ride.
He added: “I’m very grateful to my fellow directors who have put up with me sitting through directors’ meetings in my Lycra gear after cycling from Blackburn to Bury.”
Anyone who would like to donate do Graham’s Cystic Fibrosis ride can do so via https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=GrahamIreland1&pageUrl=3