AT 6.30am on Wednesday a cyclist will begin a four-day 290-mile challenge to bike from London to Paris.
Mark Powell, 50, of Buckingham Road, Oakham, is hoping to raise £2,000 through the challenge for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.
The former Oakham Rugby Club coach has been a volunteer for the charity for three years and does talks on their behalf at schools and for community groups.
He is joining a group of people who will cycle from Crystal Palace to the Eiffel Tower - starting on Wednesday and reaching their destination on Saturday.
He said: “I had better make sure I eat my porridge!
“I am looking forward to it with some trepidation, but I have been training hard since before Christmas.
“I spent the first six weeks in the gym every day and have been cycling around the area.
“When I gave up coaching I wanted a new challenge.”
Mark is borrowing a racing bike from his friend Steve Reed and is getting ready for the off.
He said: “The air ambulance is such a worthy cause.
“We live in an equestrian area and I am involved in sports so have had to call the air ambulance before.
“Last month 11 of the 78 calls were to equestrian accidents.”
To sponsor Mark visit www.justgiving.com/DeborahPowell1