CROSS Hills man Ben Wood is currently cycling to the Provence region of France where he will celebrate his 40th birthday while raising money for a children’s charity.

Mr Wood set off on the journey with friend Andy North, of Guiseley, on June 5 from Wheelbase, in Ilkley, where Mr Wood is head head mechanic.

Both friends are part of Ultra6, a local cycling team who have done various challenges over the years, achieving three world records and raising thousands for charity.

This challenge is seeing the pair raise money for Candlelighters and saw them set off to Hull to catch the overnight Ferry to Zeebrugge. Their aim is to reach Bedoin on Saturday, June 15, and celebrate Mr Wood’s 40th birthday on June 17.

They will have covered over 1,200 miles and 100,000ft of ascent, much of this in the Alps. They will have travelled through the UK, Belgium, Holland, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and skirted on Germany, all without support and carrying all their own kit.

The two friends and they hope to raise £5,000. Anyone wishing to donate to them can go to:

Mr Wood is also raffling off a framed signed KOM jersey won by Rob Scott (Team Wiggins) at stage three of this years Tour de Yorkshire.