AN AVID cyclist is taking on the challenge of riding from London to Paris to raise funds for a local charity.

Andy Duncan, of Silkstone, will be tackling the 550km journey alone to challenge himself and also raise money for the Ian Pratt Motor Neurone Disease (MND) charity. Ian Pratt is a friend of Andy and has been battling motor neurone disease since he was diagnosed seven years ago.

Andy, 50, will set off from Kensington Park in London on October 26 and will ride to the White Cliffs of Dover in one day, he will then cycle through France to the finish line at the Eiffel Tower.

His wife Lindsay said: “Our son, Alfie, and Ian and his wife Catherine’s daughter Georgiana went to nursery together so we have known them for a while now, as our children are nine-years-old.

“Ian was diagnosed when Georgiana was very young so they have lived with this dreadful disease for years, the disease continues to affect their lives and it won’t improve. Ian can’t do anything for himself and this obviously puts pressure on his family.

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“I’m extremely proud of my husband. The training is not easy. He’s up at 4am most mornings and training in all weathers. He believes a bit of pain and unpleasant weather is nothing compared to what Ian is going through.

“Our little boy will also join Andy on some of the ride and he’s also making loom band bracelets and rings to sell at school.

“We need to raise awareness of this dreadful disease.”

Ian, 50, is a former Proud of Barnsley award winner who was diagnosed with MND, which damages parts of the nervous system, in 2012 and set up the Ian Pratt MND foundation in 2016 to raise awareness and to support people living with the disease.

He said: “Seven years ago I received my diagnosis that confirmed my worst fear, I had MND and our lives turned upside down. I am one of the fortunate ones.

“I have seen countless people diagnosed after me and many don’t get the opportunity to understand their fate before the disease takes hold.

“Since my diagnosis we have raised over £250,000 to fund research and to help others diagnosed with the insidious disease’’.

n Donations can be made to Andy’s fundraising page. To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com