A CYCLIST from Poundbury who has ridden across America is backing a major fundraiser organised by a Rotary club.

Stephen Howard completed the epic 4,500-mile journey in 2018, fighting off dogs and spotting wild bears, in just 53 days.

Organisers of the casual cycle ride from Poundbury to Bayeux said Mr Howard loved the idea of the event, which is raising funds for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and other Rotary charities.

He will be there for the official send off at the Cafe on the Green at 4pm on Thursday, June 20, although he cannot take part as he is riding from London to Paris at the same time.

The cycle is organised by the Rotary Club of Poundbury, Dorchester, and there is still time to get involved.

A spokesman said: “The bikes are taken to the ferry in Poole on Friday, June 21, in the morning, together with the participants, and leave from Poole, and bike transport on the ferry is organised. The ride will start and finish at Cherbourg. Luggage will be transported by van. The total cycling distance over the three days is around 135 miles and is mainly on country roads with little traffic.

“The route passes through many villages and small towns, and there will be opportunities to pause for food and drink. This is not a race, but a reasonable degree of fitness is encouraged. Bikes will obviously need to be well maintained, and it is expected that cycle technician will be travelling with the marshals. Instructions and detailed routes will be provided, and there will be a support crew with three vehicles. Hotel accommodation is being provided on a demi-pension (half board) basis in Ste-Mere-Eglise en route, and in Bayeux at the end of the run. A Civic Reception in Bayeux is planned, and this will be followed by a group dinner.”

The entry cost, which covers transport, ferry, accommodation and the basics, is £250, plus a charitable donation of a similar amount in sponsorship.

Entries close on Saturday, April 20. Email Cullingtons@gmail.com or visit www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php?ClubID=2118