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Mark gears up for gruelling charity bike ride

A Fenland councillor will be joining about 60 other cyclists on a gruelling, 400-mile charity bike ride next month (August).

Mark Buckton Lap of Anglia

Mark Buckton has signed up for the Lap of Anglia ride in aid of the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

Described as "one lap of Anglia, four days, 400 gruelling miles, one great cause", it will start at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn on August 10, returning there in the evening of August 13.

Cllr Buckton, who represents Manea on Fenland District Council, has been training for the event with Duo Velo, a March-based business specialising in cycle coaching and events.

Its owners, Darren ​Finley​ and TheresaChapman, are passionate supporters of the charity. They met Mark, a member of the Fenland Tourism Partnership, at a tourism business networking event in April and have since been working with him to get him fit for the challenge.

Mark said: "It's going to be a really tough four days. I was a keen cyclist when I was young but I haven't cycled for around 30 years. I've been training as hard as I can and getting some great coaching and advice from Darren and Theresa but at my age and condition it still feels a bit daft.

"Taking part in the Lap of Anglia seemed a great way not only of supporting a very worthy cause but also of promoting the district as a great place for people to visit. Fenland is perfect for cycling - not least because it's so flat - as well as for fishing, walking and other outdoor pursuits."

Mark and his fellow riders will be travelling through Fenland on the final day of the journey - the longest and hardest leg, taking them 110 miles from Luton to King's Lynn. They will go through Bedford, on past Peterborough and then through Guyhirn and Wisbech to the finishing post at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Theresa is confident he'll do fine. "Mark's doing amazingly well - fitter, stronger, more determined and somehow finding the much needed time to train.  We just need to step up the tempo a bit in the last few weeks before the ride."

  • Theresa is doing a weekly blog on Mark's progress: