Oliver Hannon-Dalby is ready for some hard yards next weekend as cricketers prepare to take to the road to raise funds for the Professional Cricketers' Association Benevolent Fund and the Tom Maynard Trust.
Warwickshire seam-bowler Hannon-Dalby will be among current and ex-cricketers, including Marcus Trescothick, Tim Bresnan, Geraint Jones and Steve James, who will embark on the Big Bike Ride 3, a 360-mile journey starting from Edgbaston Stadium on Friday
The first two Big Bike Rides, in 2013 and 2015, raised more than £320,000 and BBR3 will take Hannon-Dalby and his fellow pedallers from Edgbaston on a winding route through Sheffield, the Peak District, Cheshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to south Wales. It will finish at the SSE SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff where Tom Maynard, who died in tragic circumstances in 2012, played his formative cricket and where the trust set up in his name is based.
"I recently bought myself a new racing bike, though it is hard to get one that fits me. The last new bike I had was when I was about 12 years old so I haven't done too much cycling over the years, but I have been out and about getting some miles in since the season finished "
Cycling long distance will be a new experience for Hannon-Dalby but he is ready for the challenge for those excellent causes.
"I recently bought myself a new racing bike, though it is hard to get one that fits me," said the 6ft 7in bowler. "Before that the last new bike I had was when I was about 12 years old so I haven't done too much cycling over the years, but I have been out and about getting some miles in since the season finished.
"We'll see how it goes. The route is Birmingham to Cardiff via Sheffield which is not the way most people would go, so I might have a word with the PCA about that! The Peak District is pretty hilly so that might be tough but the plan is for the cyclists to go in three groups - fast, medium and slow. I think I'll be in one of the latter two categories...
"But I'm delighted to be doing it to raise money for two great causes. The PCA does so much good stuff for its members whether they are 16 years old or 96 and the Tom Maynard Trust also does great work."
The Big Bike Ride 3 will depart from Edgbaston at 7am on Friday, led out of the stadium by Warwickshire scorer Mel Smith on his motorbike. The riders will then stop off at various clubs, firstly Atherstone CC in north Warwickshire around 9.40am on Friday, en route.