IT is now less than two weeks until Ramsbury man Pete Willetts, better known as One Lung Pete within his community, will embark on a 1,000-mile charity cycle.
Mr Willetts, aged 55, will ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats with fellow villagers Charles Gardner and Steve Tippins to raise funds for Action Through Enterprise (ATE), a Ghana-based charity launched by Ramsbury resident Sarah Gardner in 2012, and Macmillan Cancer Care.
The feat is even more of a challenge for Mr Willetts, who had half of a lung and his lymph nodes removed following a battle with cancer two years ago.
"I don’t think of it as competition, but just like in any team I don't want to let the others down," he said. "I know I will be slowest up the hills, that's when I notice that I don’t have full lung capacity, but I don’t want the others to have to stop and wait for me to catch up. I've been training hard and putting the miles in."
Mr Willetts has been increasing his weekend training cycles by five miles each week, currently on 70 miles, along with two mid-week 10-mile cycles and a number of stints on his static exercise bike at home.
More than £5,000 of the £20,000 fundraising target has already been raised, with the total to be split equally between ATE and Macmillan.
"It's a huge target and we are a quarter of the way there. It would be amazing if we actually hit that," he said. "The motivation comes from the fact that it is a tough challenge. If it was easy I wouldn't have put the work in.
"Much of the support has come from close friends, work colleagues and relations, but there has also been a lot from people I don’t know.
"Seeing the money coming in means I have to do this. Some people are donating £100 and I absolutely owe it to them to give this my best shot.
"As I have been through cancer and chemotherapy, I am aware of the enormous help which Macmillan can offer.
"I have found the whole thing a humbling experience and I really want to give something back.
"I'm equally happy to support ATE. Sarah has worked tirelessly, overcome malaria, and set up a charity which is doing unbelievable things out there.
"Hearing her story is inspirational. Having heard about it from the outset and watched it grow, I feel very closely connected to it."
The trio, accompanied by a support car, will leave The Bell at Ramsbury pub at 8.30am following a launch breakfast.
You can follow Mr Willett's progress via his blog at at http://ourbigride.wordpress. com or via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ourbigride?ref=bookmarks
To make a donation, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ourbigride1