A Norwich man is set to swap the cold and wet weather of England for the scorching desert temperatures of the United Arab Emirates for a charity cycle ride.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Ollie Blackmore is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for Norfolk cancer charity Big C by cycling 900km over four days in temperatures of up to 30C.

The 37-year-old, of Park Lane, who is managing director of Norwich-based digital marketing company Selesti, will be riding with best friend Jason Roberts, who lives in Dubai.

Mr Roberts’ mother-in-law died of cancer last year and the two decided to raise funds for Big C, which supports patients with cancer.

The pair have set a target of raising £10,000 by cycling more than 100 miles a day through all seven emirates of the UAE, including deserts and mountains in intense heat.

Mr Blackmore is training six times a week and started preparing for the challenge in September with the help of members of the York Tavern Cycling Club and the Iceni Velo.

He said: “I have been to Dubai several times on business and to see Jason and it is a very different type of challenge because of the heat and immense climbs. It is difficult to train in the flattest part of the UK and at the coldest and darkest time of the year.”

“I am really looking forward to it and training has taken its toll. The motivation to raise money for charity and the challenge itself makes the early mornings worth it in the end.”

The ride also marks three years since Mr Blackmore quit smoking and there will be a send off for him in the York Tavern on February 21, which will involve a bucket collection for the charity.

The four day challenge will start on February 27 in Abu Dhabi and the cyclists will have a high visibility support car to warn other motorists of their presence.

To sponsor him, visit www.justgiving.com/ollieblackmore and the route can be viewed at www.touroftheemirates.com




Norfolk Weather



max temp: 3°C

min temp: 1°C

Five-day forecast