Chatburn ex-soldier’s charity bike trek across the UK

ON HIS BIKE: Michael Bale. (s)

ON HIS BIKE: Michael Bale. (s)

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A FORMER soldier from the Ribble Valley is gearing up to cycle the length of the UK to raise money for injured members of the Armed Forces and the North West Air Ambulance service.

Michael Bale (41), of Chatburn, is set to embark on his gruelling ride from John O’Groats to Lands End at the beginning of May and hopes to complete the challenge in ten days, riding 100 miles per day.

After serving in the 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers for 10 years, Michael, who now runs a car valeting business, explained how he came up with the idea to raise money for Help for Heroes: “During my time in the army, I went to some of the places where our Armed Forces are currently in action. Luckily for me, I came back in one piece, however, many others aren’t so fortunate and I wanted to do something to help. I’m also raising money for the North West Air Ambulance because my friend was badly injured in a car accident 18 months ago and he probably wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for them. He had a problem with his heart and had to be air-lifted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital. That’s how I found out that the service relies solely on donations and fund raising, so I wanted to help them too.”

To help with his fund-raising ride, Michael is looking for any businesses that might be able to help with the practicalities of the trip. He explained: “We are in desperate need of a motor home, which we could use as a support vehicle for the challenge. We would be really grateful if anyone can help and would love to hear from them.”

For more information, or to sponsor Michael, please visit www.justgiving.com/michael-bale or www.justgiving.com/michael-bale0