A KEEN bike rider cycled more than 50 miles for charity — the day before his 83rd birthday.

Blackrod resident James Speak completed the 52-mile cycle from Blackrod to Southport to raise money for a bell appeal at one of the village’s churches as well as The British Heart Foundation.

This was the third bike ride of this kind that Mr Speak has completed in recent years — and he did it just one day before turning 83.

Joining Mr Speak on the journey was 23-year-old Dean Collinson, who rings the bells at St Katherine’s Church in Church Street, which is holding the appeal.

So far the two have raised more than £900 in sponsorship with plenty left to collect.

Mr Speak, a former member of the RAF, who lives in Aines Road, Blackrod, said: “The ride was all right to be honest. I did the same 52-mile route from Southport to Blackpool in 2012 and 2013 so I knew what to expect.

"I ride my bike every day, with regular trips to Chorley and Horwich, so I didn’t find it a problem and I really enjoyed it — I may do it again next year!”