A SALON owner who describes himself as a ‘cycling virgin’ has ridden more than 300 miles from London to Paris in aid of a blood cancer charity.

Ian Beswick, aged 34, of Drakes Broughton, who owns four Avant Garde Salons, including two in Worcester, took part in the gruelling 311-mile cycle challenge for Bloodwise alongside Alex Willetts, aged 23, who works as a stylist in the Warndon Villages branch.

Mr Beswick, who said he had never ridden a bicycle on the road before April this year, was motivated to take part in the challenge in support of fellow hairdresser Simon Giamattei, who is battling blood cancer and owns Marc Antoni Salons alongside his three brothers.

Mr Beswick said: “Simon has blood cancer and he is someone I look up to in the industry.”

The duo have raised £3,000 for the charity.

They joined hairdressers from across the county in a team called Pscyclepath, and combined the group have raised about £66,000 for the charity.

Mr Beswick added: “It was an absolutely amazing four days. By far the most overwhelming thing is cycling with people who have been touched by blood cancer in some shape or form.

“It just gives you a real sense of purpose. I just know the money is going to a good cause. The money changes lives and can stop cancer because of all the research they do.

“What we have raised may not seem like much but, combined, £60,000 will make a huge difference – that is why it is so special.”

Miss Willets, of Bewdley, said: “Before the event I had never cycled more than 50 miles so it was a massive achievement. The training was good: I did it on my own – where I live is quite hilly so I would just go out and tackle some of the hills.

“It was a really good experience. It was great to hear everybody’s stories. I had never heard of Bloodwise before this but it is a brilliant charity.”

The ride took place over four days between Thursday September 13 and Sunday September 16.

Mr Beswick, who owns a salon in Martins Quarter and another in Warndon Villages, and Miss Willets plan to take part again next year.

To make a further donation, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/bez-london2paris.