09:50AM, Sunday 20 January 2013
A sales executive is preparing to cycle from London to Paris to raise money for an arthritis charity - a condition which affects his sister.
Liam Byde, who is 26 and lives in Bissley Drive, Maidenhead, decided to embark on the 300-mile challenge after his sister was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when she was 23.
Natalie Byde, who lives in Maidenhead Road, discovered she had the condition after suffering a sudden swelling in her knees.
Natalie, now 24, has two young children and was forced to give up her job as a nursery nurse at St Mark's Hospital due to severe problems with mobility.
"She can have good days and bad days," said Liam.
"Some days she can walk okay with a stick and others days she can’t get out of bed."
Liam, who works at Sugatsune in Woodley, is hoping to raise £2,000 for the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, based at Maidenhead Office Park, which has helped Natalie so much through her treatment.
The challenge will be undertaken by up to 100 people, who will cycle the route together in only five days, winding through the English countryside before taking a ferry to France with overnight stops in Abbeville and Beauvais.
Liam's training involves workouts in the gym and up to 90 miles of road cycling a week, but he will soon be riding up to 150 miles per week.
He said: "Before I started this I'd only ever cycled to Windsor before. I'm nervous about how long the challenge is.
"I have currently raised £610 and I need to raise £1,450 minimum in order to qualify for the ride. Ideally I would like to raise £2,000.
"I'm excited to take part as it will be a good chance to make new friends. I'm proud to be raising money for such a great charity."
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