I'm a congenitally over-weight, 71 year old retired fire officer and a 'born-again' cyclist (an e-bike to be fair), heaving my 117 kg 'athletic' frame (equivalent to 2 normal people) and a near 30kg e-bike around the roads and trails of the country.
On 18 June this year I'm going to ride from London to Brighton in the BHF London to Brighton cycle ride, to raise funds and help support a charity very close to my heart - The Firefighters' Charity, which is 80 years young this year.
From 1973 to 2003 I had the privilege of serving the communities in Portsmouth and Hampshire as a fireman and later a fire officer. As a Deputy CFO in Oman between 2004 and 2007 I helped 'pay it forward' by training young men from Arabic countries to become firefighters in their own countries, principally Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.
My son now serves his community in the same way, but also with Urban Search and Rescue, at home and internationally, and with Rope Rescue skills - what one might describe as 'high risk' roles within his profession.
Throughout my career I was fortunate and never had to call upon the 'Ben Fund', as it used to be known in my day, for help or support.
The Firefighters' Charity does so much to help physically or mentally injured firefighters recover quickly so they can return to duty and continue to protect the public. It can support the families of firefighters who have lost their lives, or been seriously injured and invalided out of their job. It helps both serving and retired members of the service who are in need.
Please, help me to help them do their vital work of keeping firefighters fit, physically and mentally, to serve their communities on our behalf.