A COUNTY mum yesterday set off on an epic charity cycle challenge from London to Paris.

Vivien Rouse, from Kings Thorn, is one of 21 cyclists set to peddle almost 300 miles between the two cities in the gruelling four-day challenge in a bid to raise funds for two charities – Rocky-Lees Little Feet and Potter’s Village.

Rocky-Lees Little Feet supports parents of still-born babies and Potter's Village is a child crisis centre in Uganda which saves the lives of orphaned and abandoned babies.

“I’m absolutely terrified,” admitted Mrs Rouse. “I'm really just so worried that I won't be able to make it.

“It's a really nice thing to do for charity but I also found that I'm better if I have an event to look forward to and work towards and train to.

"I did the London marathon in 2001 and 2002 and really enjoyed it but I think my running career is over.”

Training for the event has included regular cycle rides as part of a group, as well as using a bike to make trips to Ross-on-Wye from her home.

The challenge is broken down into 75 miles on day one, 78 on day two, 65 on day three and 56 on the final day.

But Mrs Rouse will not have much time to rest, starting a new role as a Spanish teacher at the Steiner Academy from Monday.

It follows a 15-year stint in marketing at Ross-on-Wye based PGL Travel and it is the company's UK operations manager, Luke Shearing, who has organised the charity challenge.

"It will be fun," she said. "It will be one of the things where I'll be really proud when I have done it. It's that visualisation of being there at the Champs-Élysées with a champagne in hand.

"I'm really looking forward to it. Cycling and training has been a really nice experience. I have got to know the countryside around here and all the parts that you never drive down. Apparently the French roads are really set up for cyclists and the French people are really very nice to cyclists too."

Anyone wishing to donate can visit justgiving.com/London2Paris20/