A CREW manager at Weymouth Fire Station is marking his retirement from the service by setting himself a cycling challenge.

John Baker, 55, who will retire after 33 years in May, will cycle around all the fire stations in Dorset on behalf of the Friendship Club.

He’ll be joined by his son Harry, 20, a member of the club.

John said they were both looking forward to the challenge, particularly Harry.

“He’s had an interest in visiting all the fire stations around Dorset. I thought this would be a good chance to do it before I leave.

“He knows most of the stations in Dorset and there were always plenty of questions from him when I came back home.”

The pair will cycle nearly 230 miles, averaging between 50 and 60 miles per day.

John said: “I thought it was better not to work it out completely because I might be put off.”

The Friendship Club is part of Dorset People First, a user led charity which helps people with learning disabilities support each other.

John said the club helped Harry make a number of new friends. He hopes to raise awareness of the work they do.

He said: “The Friendship Club are finding times hard with funding. It has been such a great club for Harry to go to.”

The pair will leave Weymouth on May 6 and cycle to Lyme Regis. They will then travel in a clockwise fashion around Dorset visiting all of the fire stations.

They will return home on May 10, John’s 56th birthday.

John added: “If everything goes well it will be a triple celebration.”

Dave Allan, on-call station commander at Weymouth Fire Station said: “I can’t believe the time has come for John to retire. He has been an ever constant since I have been in the fire service and it’s not going to feel the same without him.

“He is signing off with this incredible challenge with his son Harry.”

If you would like to sponsor John and Harry, please visit their local giving page at localgiving.com/harryjohn cycledorset