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RAF colleagues' 1000-mile charity cycle ride

Squadron Leaders Andy Shaw and Jamie Norris are about to embark on a huge challenge. Over the next 10 days they will cycle 1000 miles through 10 countries to raise money for us.

Jamie and I are both RAF Fast Jet pilots and are currently working to support the sale of the Typhoon to Saudi Arabia. I help out on all pilot related aspects of the sale and advise the RSAF on the build up of future Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoon capability. Before this I flew F18 fighters on exchange with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Jamie was Lincolnshire's premier 2012 Typhoon Display pilot.

Jamie Norris and Andy Shaw

My wife Emily and my three daughters, Sophie, Pippa and Beatrice, are supporting us and for the past year have had to endure the sight of Daddy in Lycra...a sight no child needs to see!

We came up with the idea of doing a long distance cycle ride last year. The RAF Benevolent Fund was the obvious choice because of all the good work that they do for the RAF family.

We chose 10 countries to cycle through over 10 days, over 1000 miles, as it seemed like it would be a good, tough challenge and we'll be supported by Squadron Leader Paul L'Abbate.

We'll be starting in Dover then will travel to France, cycling on to Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary. The ride will finish in Bratislava.

I've been doing lots of training in preparation for the challenge. I cycle 40 miles a day into central London and I do one long ride (80 miles) every two weeks. I have developed an amazing ability to maintain body mass despite this level of activity!

We are hoping to raise £5000 in total and we're really looking forward to seeing Europe from the saddle.

By Andy Shaw

You can sponsor Andy, Jamie and Paul on their JustGiving page.

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