A KEEN cyclist has made the epic fund-raising journey from Land's End to John O' Groats — on a penny-farthing.

Dave Preece, who lives off Bath Road in Worcester, set out on the 970 mile journey with friend Mike Davies on April 18 and returned on Saturday.

The pair are members of the St John's Cycling Club and Mr Preece had been planning the journey for a number of years.

"Mike and I did the challenge for the first time in 2003 on bicycles. It was tough then but a lot easier than doing it on a penny-farthing. I bought my penny-farthing about nine years ago and always said I would do the challenge riding it one day, but Mike didn't believe me," Mr Preece, who works for a cycle shop in Cheltenham, said.

"Then the time came and Mike still came along with me, riding his bicycle so he could carry all the luggage.

"It was incredibly tough. Riding a penny-farthing is difficult anyway because you really have to pedal harder while keeping the handlebars in control and there are no brakes to speak of. So you have to get off and push when going down or up hills, and it is scary riding in traffic.

"The first day was really hard travelling in to a strong headwind. Then we had lovely sunny weather for about a week. It turned a bit nasty once we got to Scotland, with Kilmarnock being the worst. We had snow, hail, rain and strong winds. The bad weather lasted a few days but cleared up for the last part of the ride. We finished in sunshine at John O'Groats.

"But it was fun. A lot of people stopped us along the way to ask about the penny-farthing and to take pictures.

"Towards the end of the trip I just wanted it to be over, we were so shattered. But we made it to the end and we've raised £2,900 for the National Deaf Children's Society."

Mr Preece said that although it may look intimidating, he believes anyone can ride a penny-farthing.

"It is scary at first, but if you can ride a bike you can ride a penny-farthing," he said.

To donate to the team, visit www.justgiving.com/Dave-Preece3.