Cycling pals Tim Rhodes and Trevor Tiller have set off on their 12-day mammoth pedal from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

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The friends are taking on the 800-mile challenge in aid of the Woodlands Cancer Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon.

Mr Rhodes, son of former St Ivo headteacher John, said they wanted to make a contribution to the £800,000 needed to build an extension so more patients can be treated at the unit.

“I have had friends and family who have had to go to Hinchingbrooke for things to do with cancer,” said Mr Rhodes, formerly of Hill Rise, St Ives, but now living in Cambridge where he is a college boatman.

“I don’t think we’ll be breaking any records. We’ll be cycling an average of about 80 miles a day, so we can expect to be a bit saddle sore by the time we get there. But it’s a great cause and it will be well worth it.”

The pair, who met while serving in the Army in the early 1980s, left a foggy Land’s End at 8am on Monday on the 80-mile first leg, a hilly ride to Sheviock, near the Cornwall/Devon border. Yesterday’s riding started in bright sunshine and was due to see them to Taunton in Somerset. Today is Stratford-upon-Avon resident Trevor’s 52nd birthday.

Mr Rhodes, who is 52 and is married to Nina with two children, Katie, 20, and Harry, 19, estimated they would make it to John O’Groats by Friday, April 18.

Their fundraising target was £1,500. To support them, visit www.justgiving.com/Tim-Rhodes1.