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Local biking duo tackle epic ride

A Bournemouth-based entertainment duo has taken up an epic 900 mile bike ride challenge for charity.

Matt Black, 47, and Jon Cox, 51, are to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End in aid of Wings for Warriors, a charity which helps to rehabilitate injured servicemen.

Entertainer Matt and his one-legged manager Jon are collectively known as Three Legs, Two Bikes and A Piano.

The pair began with small bike rides around Poole and Bournemouth. eventually riding up to 50 miles a day.

But Matt wanted to aim higher. He said: “I’ve always wanted to do Land’s End to John O’Groats’. It’s one of those life ambitions.

The duo will spend most of May riding through the country where as well as raising money for charity, Matt will be performing gigs at different stages of the ride which he hopes will cover a lot of the expenses needed for the trip.

Matt said: “Some of the gigs will be at inns, so part of the deal will be us doing the gig for accommodation. We’re doing the gigs to help fund the actual trip.”

Although they understand that the ride will be tough, it is made more difficult by the fact that Jon is an amputee, losing his left leg in a childhood accident.

Jon does have a prosthetic limb but has opted to complete the challenge without it.

He said: “If Matt does 50 miles, I’ve done 100 because I’ve only got one leg.”

The duo chose to support Wings for Warriors as the cause feels close to home for Jon.

Jon said: “It’s a military charity and everyone likes to support the military. They also support servicemen who are now amputees so it’s relevant to us. They’re teaching ex-servicemen to be pilots for example.

“We are aiming to raise £40,000. We know that is really ambitious but it’s half of what it costs to train someone within the charity.”

The duo look forward to the challenge; Matt said: “It’s an adventure and a physical challenge but more than anything it’s going to be a mental challenge. Hopefully though there’ll be many laughs along the way.”

Jon added: “We’re doing this bike ride because we want to do it. An offshoot of it is that hopefully we can do it for someone who needs it. There’s no glory involved. It’ll be good to look at a map of Britain and go ‘wow, we did that!’”

The duo began training in spring last year and will continue training throughout early 2015 in preparation for the challenge on May 4 2015.