A 76-year-old man who has battled cancer twice is set to get on his bike to cycle across the continent.
Brian Kirby is preparing to ride from his home in Littleworth Lane, Belton-in-Rutland, to the Austrian capital Vienna and back to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Brian has fought off bowl cancer twice after first being diagnosed in 2004. He fought off the disease but was devastated to be told by doctors in 2009 that it had returned. He has since been given the all-clear.
Brian also cared for his wife Ronnie, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and sadly died in 2012. While battling to overcome his difficulties, Brian turned to pedal power and has since raised more than £7,000 for charity through rides, including a journey last year which took him to Berlin and back.
Brian, who sets off on the latest challenge on Sunday, said: “Surviving cancer has given me a new life. I believe it’s up to me to live it to the full now and that’s what I try to do.
“I bought a bike in 2008 and that has made to my recovery.
“I think my next challenge will be my toughest on a bike but I’m feeling ready for it.”
Brian is expecting the journey to take about two months and hopes to ride between 40 and 50 miles a day, depending on his health. He will be carrying medical equipment on his journey as he had a colostomy.
He said: “I am really looking forward to it. Cycling in Holland is a cyclist’s heaven.
“I’ve made friends on my travels before and I love learning about the history of different places.
“I’m sure I’ll come back with many stories. It’s the history which draws me back.
“I’ve never been to Vienna before and I just fancied it.”
Brian, who is a volunteer driver at Voluntary Action Rutland, has set himself a target of raising £1,000.
To encourage people to sponsor him, Brian has launched a competition in which people can guess the number of miles he will be travelling. Brian will give £50 to the person whose guess is nearest to the final total.
To sponsor Brian, visit www.justgiving.com/FREDERICK-KIRBY.
Sponsorship forms are available from Belton House in Littleworth Lane, Belton-in-Rutland.