A 74-YEAR-OLD cyclist is taking on 500 miles of the Scottish Highlands for charity, despite plans to stop fundraising two years ago.

Retired police sergeant Geoffrey Lee, of Main Road, St Lawrence, has raised more than £150,000 for charity over 45 years, incluing £35,000 for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital within the past three years.

Mr Lee will tackle the North Coast 500 on July 15, which will see him complete 518 miles over seven days, starting and finishing in Inverness, covering the majority of the western highlands and at altitudes equivalent to climbing to Camp 3 of Mount Everest – more than 22,000ft above sea level.

The mammoth task comes after Mr Lee completed the 350 mile London to Paris event in May 2016.

Mr Lee, a dad and granddad of two, said: “The last event I did, I said it would be my last one.

“I’ve said that a lot about previous events, but I’ve done so much fundraising over the past few decades that it seems to be a trend.

“The tipping point with this one was Great Ormond Street approaching me and saying: ‘Come on Geoff, see if you can do one last ride.’

“The Scotland ride is going to be incredibly tough. There’s only around 14 of us doing it. It will cover nearly all of the western highlands of Scotland.”

Mr Lee, who lives in Main Road, St Lawrence, has been wall-to-wall training for the event, cycling 150 miles-a-week for the past few weeks.

He has stated for definite this will be his final fundraising event, which he hopes will bring in thousands for GOSH.

He added: “I have been incredibly fortunate to have Virgin Trains give me a free ticket to travel up from London to Inverness, and the huge benefit of having such support from the area.

“That’s the good thing about doing all these fundraisers, many people within St Lawrence and the surrounding villages know who I am and are very generous and supportive.

“And of course, to do it for the hospital always makes it worthwhile, I’ve visited several times and seen so many whose lives have been saved and influenced from their care.

“This will definitely be my last event, though when I told that to my son he said: ‘I’ll believe that when I see it, dad’.”

Donations can be handed in at his home at 32 The Plovers, Main Road, St Lawrence, CM0 7PE.