Heroes' cash aid

PUBLISHED: 16:41 28 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:24 10 June 2010

MONDAY, JULY 28: AN EXMOUTH resident has raised thousands of pounds for wounded soldiers with his Land's End to John O'Groats bike journey. Exmouth Quay resident Andy Buchan, with his friend Colonel John Ensor, from Chelteham, completed a 1000-mile cycle ride in nine days

AN EXMOUTH resident has raised thousands of pounds for wounded soldiers with his Land's End to John O'Groats bike journey.Exmouth Quay resident Andy Buchan, with his friend Colonel John Ensor, from Chelteham, completed a 1000-mile cycle ride in nine days to raise money for Help for Heroes.In particular the £3,100 raised so far will go to the building of a new swimming pool and gymnasium at the Services' Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court, which will be used as part of a recovery centre for injured soldiers and those who have lost limbs.Andy, a retired army officer, said that this was one of the harder challenges that he and John had undertaken, but he was without doubt exceptionally worthwhile and had a few stories to tell.He said: "The adventure was about to begin. Within 50 yards of travelling the length of the car park, we were hailed by a helpful attendant, 'You've missed the exit guys'."Things didn't improve for the two cyclists."Having left Cheltenham we had to reach Telford without fail. However, within a very short time of leaving, I was in absolute agony. "I persevered, not wanting to appear whimpish but by the time three hours had elapsed I just couldn't go further, so bad was the pain."Along the way, I had looked at the height of my seat stem thinking this may be what was causing my pain. Being 'switched on' I had marked the stem with tape so I could always tell that it was at the correct height (but) the stem had shrunk away to nothing, I had been peddling a bike with a seat set low enough for a six year old."After months of training and losing two stones in weight Andy said: "We both experienced a personal sense of achievement, proud to have accomplished such a demanding challenge during our middle age and just as proud to have had the experience of raising such a large sum of money through your donations."The fundraising will stay open until next month. To donate visit www.justgiving.com.

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