A COUNTY councillor is swapping his desk for a bike in a bid to cycle 270 miles in 24 hours.

Trimdon and Thornley’s county councillor, Peter Brookes, is one of five cyclists taking on the gruelling challenge on June 20, which will see them cycle from Trimdon to London in aid of North East Autism Society (NEAS).

Cllr Brookes, 60, will be joined by his son, Kieran Brookes, as well as John Philipson, NEAS’ chief executive, David Shipman, strategic manager, adult commissioning, at Durham County Council and Andrew Gilmore, the council’s finance manager.

The team decided to fundraise for NEAS after we were selected as the council chairman’s charity of the year by the newly appointed chairman, councillor Jan Blakely.

Mr Brookes, 60, said the team were looking forward to the “painful” trek and hoped to complete it non-stop.

They completed a 200-mile practice run to Scotland to prepare for the challenge at the weekend (May 23 – 25).

“The practice run was a big test for us and it worked well but we are looking forward to the challenge in a masochistic kind of way,” Cllr Brookes said.

“We know it’s going to be hard and painful but it’s for a good cause – what we have realised is that autism affects so many people’s lives and so many people have connections with autism in one way or another.”

He added: “It’s a big ask to do 270 miles in one go but we just have to get our heads down and time it right because we are going to attempt to do it in 24 hours nonstop.”

Cllr Brookes said the cyclists would be aiming to arrive at his son’s house, in Vauxhall, on the morning of June 21 and would be looking for some eggs and bacon as well as a ‘cuppa’ as their reward for completing the challenge.

To sponsor the team visit justgiving.com/TeamNEAS or text donate NEAS80, followed by your donation amount, to 70070.