A WIRRAL man is cycling from London to Paris for a children’s charity.
Neil Donovan, from Irby, is getting ready to cycle the 325- mile course this summer to raise vital funds for children’s charity Action Medical Research.
The 51-year-old HR manager for Royal Mail will be riding with a group of cyclists for the four-day charity ride in July.
He will spend around eight hours a day in the saddle, travelling an average of 80 miles each day.
Neil’s first night’s destination is Calais, Arras the second, then Compiegne, before finally hitting Paris.
The group is expected to arrive in the French capital before the finale of the famous Tour de France bike race.
Neil only took up the cycling two years ago, after being diagnosed with Type Two diabetes.
This prompted him to change his lifestyle and take up the sport to get fit.
His fundraising target for Action Medical Research is £1,500.
The dad-of-two said: “I wanted to take part in the ride primarily to raise funds for a charity that for the past 60 years has been working to improve the lot of premature, sick and vulnerable children here in the UK.
“This is my first serious bike ride, so I expect it will be tough.
“I’m not looking forward to any hills or windy weather as it will hold me back, especially on the first day, as there are many hills en route to Dover.
“My highlight will be on Saturday when I see the Eiffel Tower in the distance to cross the finishing line. Followed by seeing the Tour de France finish in Paris on the Sunday.
“I know from tragic experiences within my own family when my niece lost her baby, the importance of the work Action Medical Research does. They deal with premature, pre- and post-natal babies.
“Also since being diagnosed with diabetes in 2010, I have taken steps to get myself fitter, and cycling has helped me enormously in that.
“The chance to take on an enormous personal challenge, as well as raising funds for a wonderful cause, prompted me to sign up for this ride.”
Cyclists participating in the London to Paris ride will be raising money to help fund medical research into conditions affecting babies and children in the UK.
To sponsor Neil, visit www. action.org.uk/sponsor/neildonovan