A WEST Dorset man is set to spend 21 days in the saddle, riding thousands of miles for a charity fundraiser.

Howard Dyson, of Morcombelake, is taking part in the Tour de Force, a cycle ride which follows the same route as the Tour de France.

Cycling 108 miles every day, the 2,270 mile route will involve 62,000 metres of hill climbs – seven times the height of Everest.

Howard, whose mother Moreen ran a sheep holding in Morcombelake for 40 years, said he is expecting it to be the ‘longest and most physically demanding challenge’ ever.

He said: “I have been known to do the odd cycle ride in my time, but this is way beyond all of that. Several days of riding in a row can be tough – but 21 days back to back, well that’s just monster.”

He and other charity cyclers will set off on June 28, seven days ahead of the Tour professionals.

And while the pros will fly between stages, Howard and co will face early starts and long bus journeys – and nine hours a day in the saddle.

Howard, who went to school in Whitchurch and Beaminster, is raising money for the William Wates Memorial Trust.

He said: “Not only is this an outstanding event, but also the family charity behind this is outstanding.

“They have distributed over £1.5million to a wide range of very worthwhile national and international charities, all aimed at improving the life chances of less fortunate youngsters.”

To make a donation visit bmycharity.com/HowardDysonTourDeForce