A mammoth cycling challenge

AN AIR Training Corps (ATC) instructor from Portishead is embarking on a charity bike ride to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Defence secretary and MP for North Somerset, Dr Liam Fox, showed his support for 22-year-old Sam Louwers at a send-off at the Portishead ATC headquarters.

On Thursday Sam, who is planning a career in the Royal Air Force, will begin his 1,200-mile cycle from Victory Column in Berlin, Germany to Trafalgar Square, London. Riding completely unsupported, amateur cyclist Sam will attempt to complete his journey in just 15 days. All money raised will go to the charity which supports injured military service personnel.

The former events manager said: “I am not a professional, or even semi-pro, athlete, I am just someone who wants to push myself to the limits to try to raise money for this good cause.

“I will be aiming to average 70 miles a day and complete this distance in only 15 days.”

Sam will be riding completely unaided, there will be no support team or vehicle to help him on his way.

He added: “If anything happens from injury to mechanical problems, it will be up to me to dust myself off or repair the bike and then make up for lost time.”

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Sam hopes that family and friends will be waiting to greet him at the finish line at Nelsons Column in Trafalgar Square at noon on July 16.

Almost �2,000 has already been raised in support of the bike ride.

Readers can follow Sam’s progress on Facebook and Twitter and online donations can be made at http://www.bmycharity.com/BerlintoLondonsolo