Dry-liner Steve, a valued member of the Safe Local Trades organisation, is embarking on the five-day Big Battlefield Bike Ride - The Somme, through Belgium and France from June 12-18, in aid of Help for Heroes.
The challenge for Steve is even more remarkable in that it comes less than a year after he underwent surgery for a quadruple heart bypass at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.
As well as honouring the thousands of servicemen and women who fell during World War I, Steve says he is paying tribute to the NHS.
Steve, who will be cycling around 70 miles a day, says he is indebted to the medical team that supported him in getting him back on his feet, enabling him to return to work in January and giving him the drive to embark on next month’s challenge.
He said: “I really want to pay tribute to the NHS for giving me a new lease oflife. Some people undergo heart surgery without the support to join a rehabilitation programme and carry on with rebuilding their lives.”
After being given the all-clear from the hospital last October, Steve embarked on a strict fitness regime after completing his medically advised series of exercises.
He joined Bannatyne’s (health club) in Werrington and embraced a full timetable of cardio, conditioning and relaxation activities into his daily routine, upping his cycling training since signing up for The Big Battlefield Bike Ride.
He now gets out on the road on his bike at every opportunity.
A trip to Belgium six years ago with a friend whose uncle was killed at WWI Battle of Passchendaele left a lasting impression on Steve, who said: “I have huge respect for our servicemen and am proud to be taking part in theevent for them, and in honour of so many who have given their lives for our freedom.”
Steve (pictured) has funded the entry fee to the event himself, but to help him hit his £2,500 target, you can support him at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/steven-bedford4