The RAF veteran has taken on a 60-hour cycling challenge on a static bike for the charity Help for Heroes (Picture: Help for Heroes/Twitter).

Forces Charities

Veteran Who Never Learned To Ride A Bike Takes On Charity Cycling Challenge

84-year-old Eric Ayling is attempting to complete 60 hours of cycling in seven days.

The RAF veteran has taken on a 60-hour cycling challenge on a static bike for the charity Help for Heroes (Picture: Help for Heroes/Twitter).

An 84-year-old veteran who never learned to ride a bicycle as a boy is taking part in a 60-hour cycling challenge for charity.

Eric Ayling began his lengthy stint at Springfield Community Campus in Corsham, Wiltshire on Sunday and will finish on Saturday.

He is attempting the feat to raise money for Help for Heroes - which provides support and recovery for the Armed Forces community.

Mr Ayling joined the Royal Air Force in 1952, aged just 17. He completed tours in Cyprus and Germany and represented the service as a featherweight boxer.

Before that, he grew up in a children's home - his father was killed in an earthquake while serving with the RAF in India and his mother was unable to look after him on her own.

Mr Ayling said:

"I was brought up in an orphanage when I was young and I never had any bikes or anything. I've had trouble over the years with my balance.

"I've always been frightened that if I was on a bike, who knows what could happen."

Despite this, the former RAF man trained on a static bike for a year, putting in two hours a day, six days a week in preparation for his challenge.

He has been involved with Help for Heroes for a number of years and the charity has a recovery centre near his Wiltshire home.

Over the past six years, he has raised £12,000 from similar cycling challenges and he is aiming for an additional £10,000 in donations this time around.

"I just feel I'm doing my part to help the people who really need help," he said.

He is being joined by Navy, Army and RAF personnel for his attempt.