Trio from Sheringham and North Walsham prepare for 260-mile cycle ride in aid of East Anglian Air Ambulance and Help For Heroes

A trio of north Norfolk cyclists will be tackling a very 'wide ride' from west to east later this month to help two worthy charities.

The three will set off pedalling from Aberystwyth, in Wales, at noon on July 14 - and aim to finish outside a Sheringham pub 24 hours later.

They hope the 260-mile sponsored feat will raise �1,000 each for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and Help For Heroes.

Mounting their saddles will be Sheringham police officer Ian Smith, 36, Richard Mercer, 35, from North Walsham, and Karl Simms, 36, from Sheringham.

The trio began plotting the feat in June last year and since then Mr Mercer has become a father for the second time, PC Smith's third child, Lucas, was born 12 weeks ago, and Mr Simms is due to marry in September.

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'We're all busy people,' said Mr Smith. 'We are not super athletes, just normal guys trying to do something good.

'Myself and Richard have always taken part in events and challenges over the years. As we approached our mid-30s we felt that the challenge of having babies on the way, married life and full-time jobs was not enough so we went out for a bike ride to contemplate this. By the time we had returned we had set the challenge and picked the course.

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'All that was left to do in our minds was to tell the wives. Karl was keen to join us when we spoke to him, and with only a wedding to plan, he felt had loads of time free - even though he had never done road cycling before.'

The men have been training hard, even cycling through the winter on icy roads.

Their feat has been supported by the employers of Mr Mercer and Mr Simms: Fabcon Ltd, and Dal-Bo UK respectively. And collection buckets will be available from July 12-16 at Pedal Revolutions, Cromer, Nature's Haven, Holt, and Sheringham's The Lobster pub, where the marathon is due to end, for anyone who wants to support the effort.

There is also an online site for donations at:

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