A COUNCILLOR and amateur musician who underwent heart surgery just two months ago is preparing to tackle a 100-mile bike ride.

Keen cyclist Cllr Peter Brookes, who represents the Trimdon and Thornley ward on Durham County Council, is planning to take on the challenge in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

The 62-year-old, of Trimdon Village, will cycle to from Arnside, in Cumbria, to Seaton Carew in just one day later this month.

“Earlier this year, I underwent a procedure to fix my fast, erratic heart rate,” he said. “However, I’m now back on my bike and wanting to raise money for the Chairman’s charity.

“The Great North Air Ambulance is a very worthy cause – any one of us could need their help at any time. “

Cllr Brookes hopes to raise £1,000 for the charity, chosen by the authority's chairman, Cllr Bill Kellett.

The politician leads a charity bike ride in aid of the chairman’s charity each year.

This year the chairman of Trimdon Cycling Club will be joined by fellow member Neil O’Connor and Durham County Council officers David Shipman and Andrew Gilmore.

The group are being supported by Fleet Recruitment and Croner.

Cllr Kellett said: “I would like to wish Peter and the rest of the team the very best of luck with this year’s cycle ride.

"I’m sure it will be quite a challenge but their efforts are very much appreciated.”

The four plan to set off from Arnside at 7.30am on Friday, September 22, and hope to arrive back in County Durham at about 5pm the same day.

In June last year Cllr Brookes, who plays in well-known North-East folk group Skerne, tackled an epic 230-mile ride from Durham to Wales and back with Mr Gilmore in just 21 hours to raise cash for Dementia Durham - the then chosen chairman's charity.

And just two months later in August, the biking enthusiast cycled 137 miles across gruelling terrain in France in tribute to his hero and former world champion, Tom Simpson, who died tackling the same stretch during the 1967 Tour de France.

Cllr Brookes wanted to finish what Mr Simpson was unable to do himself after collapsing at the age of 29 during the ascent of the notorious Mont Ventoux - nicknamed the Giant of Provence - with just half a mile to the summit.

Cllr Brookes has raised £695 online so far but is appealing for more donations in the hope of beating his target.

Anyone who would like to sponsor the team can visit Cllr Brookes’ JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peter-brookes7