Two Suffolk electricity workers teamed to complete a 61-mile fundraising bike ride.

Seventeen staff members from UK Power Networks tackled the route between London and Brighton and raised £4,800 for the British Heart Foundation.

The team rode along the Thames Cycle Track, Weybridge, Shere, the South Downs Link, Southwater Country Park and Steyning, as well as the ‘monster climb’ of Truleigh Hill with sea views towards the end of the route.

Paul Mathews, from Ipswich, who completed the ride, said: “Being new to the company, I saw the ride as an opportunity to get involved in my first UK Power Networks challenge, which would give me the chance to raise money for a life-saving charity and put me through my paces in the totally new off-road cycling experience.

“The day was full of ups and downs, with the terrain being very tough and steep in parts. Every climb was rewarded with excellent views and adrenaline-fuelled descents. Overall, a brilliant day which I will never forget.

“I’d like to thank all those who kindly donated, it means a lot to me and BHF, who like all charities are still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Paul Denton, from Bury St Edmunds, took part in the ride after his friend had heart surgery to rectify a faulty valve.

Paul said: “Without the continued research into heart disease, this type of life-sustaining surgery would not be possible.

“I really wanted to raise money for the British Heart Foundation to support research into heart health and provide care to those impacted.”

The British Heart Foundation will use the collected funds for research into conditions such as heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia, as well as their risk factors like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Jake Kavaliauskas, events executive at the BHF, said: “We would like to thank all the cyclists from UK Power Networks for all their efforts in completing this ride and fundraising for us.

“For more than 60 years, the public’s generosity has helped us fund research that has turned ideas that once seemed like 'science fiction' into treatments that save lives every day.

"Because of their support, we will be able to keep that vital work going and discover the lifesaving breakthroughs of the future.”