Ottery teen's Canada cycle trek for heroes

PUBLISHED: 12:02 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 13:59 18 June 2010

AN Ottery teenager will cycle 7,000km solo across Canada in a bid to raise £10,000 for injured war heroes.

AN Ottery teenager will cycle 7,000km solo across Canada in a bid to raise £10,000 for injured war heroes.

Ben Matthews, 19, is gearing up to pedal unsupported from Vancouver to Halifax after spending nine months working in the town's Millstone Bakery to save up for the quest that has taken two years to plan.

The gruelling three-month coast to coast trek will see the teenager, from Church Lane, Alfington, clock up 80km a day. Ben will jet off to Canada next Friday and start cycling two days later.

He hopes to hand over the bumper sum of cash to Help for Heroes on his return in August before beginning a human biology degree at Loughborough University.

"I've never done anything of this size before, I'm confident I can complete it," said Ben, a former Colyton Grammar student who had just returned from an 80km practise ride when he spoke to the Herald. "Fitness shouldn't be an issue," he added.

Ben, whose dad was in the navy, hopes to join the marines after university and lived in Canada for two years growing up.

"I've got nice memories of Canada," said Ben, "hopefully I can have a bit of fun while raising money for a worthy cause. I'll be camping most of the way."

Help for Heroes provides support to injured armed forces service men and women.

To sponsor Ben www.justgiving.com/benstranscanada.

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