A VETERAN cyclist has raised almost £2,000 after completing a 50-mile bike ride for charity.

Ashley Saunders, 72, took on a round trip from his hometown of Maldon to Great Dunmow and back to raise money for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis (APF) after his wife Carol was diagnosed with the condition three-and-a-half years ago.

Ashley was joined by fellow cyclist Mike Gibson, from Maldon and District Cycle Club, on the trip which took the duo through Ulting, Terling, Great Leighs and Felsted on the way to Dunmow.

So far Ashley has smashed his £700 target by raising £1,921 – but he wants to continue fundraising.

Ashley said: “A huge thank you to all of you for the most generous donations and words of encouragement.”

The pair finished the ride in Maldon’s Promenade Park.

Ashley had originally entered to ride the 50-mile Velo Essex bike ride which was due to be held this month but was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 70,000 people in the UK suffer from pulmonary fibrosis, which has a life expectancy of just three to five years.

To donate to Ashley’s campaign, search for ‘Ashley Saunders’ on justgiving.com.