A Hailsham resident who has got his health back on track after suffering from high blood pressure is using his new- found fitness to take part in a charity challenge.
Bernie Lux has just embarked on a 1,000 mile bike ride in aid of two good causes close to his heart – St Wilfrid’s Hospice and Parkinson’s UK.
This time last year the 71-year-old was suffering with high blood pressure, breathlessness and he was three stone overweight.
He’d also never ridden a bike before. But now he’s in peak condition and saddled up for his challenge, which he aims to complete in just 20 days.
Bernie is undertaking his challenge at Freedom Leisure Hailsham, the centre where he was referred by his GP last year to help get his health back on track, he aims to complete his 1000 mile challenge in just 20 days.
He said, “When I retired at 65, I also gave up smoking.
“I replaced cigarettes with food and the weight piled on.
“In January 2013 I became a member of Freedom Hailsham and lost three stones in six months; I felt like a different person, so much healthier and I didn’t get out of breath at all.
“I used to use the bike in the gym and one of the instructors encouraged me to try a spinning class. After one session I was hooked. I now join in up to six spin classes a week as well as visiting the gym, and going out on my road bike.
“I got talking with staff and friends at the centre and we came up with the idea of doing a ride for charity.
“I wanted to do something that would really push me, while raising money for a good cause, so I settled on 1000 miles; the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats!”
Bernie is cycling for approximately four hours a day by doing a mixture of spinning classes and cycling on an exercise bike in the newly refurbished reception area.
He doesn’t plan to take it easy either. He said, “I don’t just plan to sit there and peddle. I’ll be turning up the resistance on my spin bike just like everyone else in the class as I need to simulate all the hills on the journey!”
There will be charity buckets and sponsorship forms in reception and Bernie hopes everyone that visits the centre will support him with encouragement or a small donation.
He would also welcome as many people as possible to support him in the final hour of his challenge on Thursday November 28 at midday.