Cy­clist, 74, plans John O’Groats to Land’s End trip

The Herald - - NEWS -

MANY pen­sion­ers would be think­ing of putting their feet up, but one sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian is in train­ing to cy­cle the length of Britain.

Jim Bennie, 74, is pre­par­ing to pedal the

874 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

He has been do­ing 60 miles a day on his light­weight Bianchi su­per­bike since Oc­to­ber last year and is hop­ing to com­plete the feat in 10 days in July, along with a team of six friends.

The grand­fa­ther, from Grange­mouth, wants to raise money and aware­ness of men­tal health char­i­ties in mem­ory of a close friend who took his own life a day be­fore his wed­ding.

“To this day it re­ally hurts me,” he said. “I thought at the time that if I could do some­thing to help peo­ple who find them­selves in this kind of sit­u­a­tion then I’m go­ing to do it.”

Mr Bennie, a re­tired plumber, was the world over-70s nat­u­ral body­build­ing cham­pion in 2013 af­ter tak­ing up the sport two years ear­lier. He has the back­ing of aroundthe-world cy­clist Mark Beau­mont, who has of­fered him train­ing ad­vice.

Beau­mont said: “Be­cause he’s got such a rich life experience, I don’t worry about the psy­chol­ogy of this for him. Jimmy’s used to be­ing out of his com­fort zone.”

Jim Bennie is bid­ding to cy­cle from Land’s End to John O’ Groats in 10 days by com­plet­ing 60-mile train­ing rides.

Jim Bennie was world body­build­ing cham­pion.

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