A team of cyclists are preparing themselves for their biggest challenge yet - a journey from the Eiffel Tower to Pisa.
A group of 10 friends, all from the areas of Preston, Garstang, Blackpool and Lancaster, will be cycling more than 700 miles from Paris to the Leaning Tower of Pisa to raise funds for mental health charity Mind.
The journey also includes a climb in the Alps. They will start their mission on August 5 and plan to finish in Italy 10 days later.
Rider Scott Taylor-McCormick, 24, of Pilling, said: “Our mission is to help reduce the stigma attached to mental health problems which is why we have chosen to do this in aid of Mind, the national mental health charity.
“Many of our own friends and family members have experienced mental health problems over the past few years, ranging from general anxiety to depression and schizophrenia. So its something we are all passionate about, and looking to raise £5,000 for the charity. So far we have raised more than £4,000.
“Last year we cycled from Blackpool Tower to the Eiffel Tower in aid of Cancer Research UK and Parkinsons, where we raised more than £2,600. This year the team has got bigger, and the idea was to continue the journey, but to also make it a much bigger challenge than last year.
“Blackpool to Paris was 600 miles in eight days. Paris to Pisa is over 700 miles in nine days with 30,000ft of climbing to contend with.
“It is all self organised and self funded. We have been planning it for at least six months and just looking to get as much support as possible for it.
“We’re all training as much as we possibly can around work. With the recent weather it’s been hard to get out on the bike so for me it’s been a lot of cross training at the gym.
“I have been on holiday in Crete and finding an hour or two a day in the gym at the hotel. I’m hoping its going to help with dealing with the heat on the ride itself.
“We’re looking at around 30 degrees heat with 100 miles most days with 60 miles on the days we are climbing the Alps.
“There is no doubt it’s going to be really tough, but we are all committed to it and really passionate about the cause which will drive us through mile after mile.”
The 10-strong team will be updating their blog daily from August 5, which can be found on http://www.t2t.bike/
People can also donate via http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/parispisa