Fern Britton on track for cycle challenge

Fern Britton leads the way in a previous Chilterns Cycle Challenge
Fern Britton leads the way in a previous Chilterns Cycle Challenge

TV presenter Fern Britton is swapping her microphone for a bike as she cycles 35km through Bucks for charity.

The 56 year old is supporting Rennie Grove Hospice by taking part in the Chilterns Cycle Challenge, which launches from Aylesbury on March 23.

Fern, who lives in the county with her husband, TV chef Phil Vickery, and her four children, is currently in training for the event.

She said: “When training, I’m finding routes I’ve never seen before and lots of lovely little villages. I’ve even found a house for my brother!

“I’m a Bucks girl. I grew up here, it’s a beautiful area and with the ride in March, the daffodils and blossom should be out.”

The former This Morning and Ready Steady Cook presenter was due to take part last year but snowfall postponed the event and the new date clashed with her training for Strictly Come Dancing.

Fern said she is capable of cycling up to 75km, which is the longest of the three routes on the day, but joked she has chosen the short option so she will be able to chat with fellow riders and not be too out of breath.

“Cycling keeps me fit,” said Fern, who publicly battled with her weight in the mid-2000s but dropped a number of dress sizes.

“It keeps our hearts going and our joints loose. And when I’m riding I feel like I am in a group. Cycling is not an exclusive activity, that’s what is nice.”

Fern, who went to Dr Challoner’s High School in Amersham, will be cycling through the Chilterns in support of the hospice for the second time after she rode the 10km route in 2011.

She said: “I’m not into setting times but I will do it in about four hours. Some people will be shorter, some will take longer but I’ll look forward to a cup of tea, a sandwich and a chat once I’m finished.

“But I will support the charity whenever I am able to. I’m a big believer in supporting local charities as you get to see the benefits.”

The sponsored cycle challenge starts and finishes in Kingsbury.

For more information visit www.renniegrove.org or call 01442 820740.