Kent adventurer Steve McMullen takes on latest challenge

Steve McMullen on a zip-wire in New Zealand Steve McMullen is hoping to raise at least £1,603.81 for Barnardo's - the mileage he expects to ride

A cyclist has set off from Land's End in Cornwall on "a longer-than-normal" sponsored ride to John O'Groats.

Steve McMullen, 40, from Doddington, in Kent, plans to detour through 10 of the UK's steepest national parks, adding a further 600 miles to the distance.

He said "muscle cramps, uncomfortable nights in a tiny tent and saddle sores" would not stop him from raising funds for children's charity Barnardo's.

"This will be one of the toughest physical challenges of my life."

Global challenges

Mr McMullen recently returned to the UK after living in New Zealand for 10 years where he worked as a fireman.

He also spent nine months in 2008 riding a motorbike around South America, and in 2011 he drove between the west coast of Vancouver Island and the east coast of Newfoundland in Canada.

Earlier this year he delivered children's clothes collected from his fire service colleagues to an orphanage in Tanzania. He also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

He is hoping to raise at least £1,603.81 for Barnardo's in his latest challenge - which is the exact number of miles he expects to ride.

"Knowing the money I raise will be used to improve the lives of vulnerable children throughout the UK is the best part of it, and will act as a huge motivating factor when the wind is blowing the wrong way and the up-hills don't seem to be ending," he said.

He hopes to cover between 50 to 80 miles a day and complete the ride in about four weeks.

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