TWO Hampshire men have embarked upon a 412-mile bike ride in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Mike Foulds and Ed Matthews from North Baddesley and Southampton are currently cycling from St Davids in Pembrokeshire to Lowestoft in Suffolk.

The pair set off on the morning of April 30 and are set to complete the challenge, which will see them cycle 70 miles each day, on May 5 – Ed’s 50th birthday.

Mike and Ed decided to take up the challenge in the summer of 2017 when Ed was deciding what he should do to celebrate his milestone.

Ed said: “I thought ‘I don’t really want to do a party so why don’t I do a bike ride?’.

“I think my wife expected a relaxing weekend away somewhere, not this!”

The pair, who both work in the shipping industry, decided to do the challenge – which they are calling the ‘wide ride’ – in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.

They chose to raise money for the charity as both of them and their partners, Sam Foulds and Dee Matthews have links to Alzheimer’s through family connections.

Mike, 40 said: “It is close to all of our hearts and we have all seen people suffer with Alzheimer’s.

“My father passed away from Alzheimer’s last year at the age of 77.

“He was such a bubbly person and near the end he lost his personality and he didn’t recognise members of our family.

“My dad was able to participate in some medical trials and he liked this as he felt like he was making a difference.

“Now I want to feel like I’m making a difference.”

Ed added:” My wife’s mum died from Alzheimer’s.

“It was a difficult time as, when it hits, the soul of the person dies before they do.

“We decided it was the best charity for both of us to raise money for due to our personal connections.

“I just want to raise money for the research so hopefully one day scientists can find a cure.”

When interviewed before beginning the challenge, Ed said although he was “nervous” he was also “feeling the buzz”.

He said: “It’s such a mad idea and training has been hard, but I think we are as ready as we can be.”

Mike agreed, saying: “I don’t think we could have done much more.

“This year we have been cycling nearly 120 miles most weekends

“The nearest thing I have done to this is running a marathon.

Mike added: “Hopefully those who are less fortunate will benefit, and some of the funds will be able to help cure this terrible disease.”

Ed and Mike are aiming to raise £5,000. To donate visit