A CROSS-COUNTRY journey covering more than 1,000 miles in 24 hours would be a daunting challenge even by car - but two Swindon riders are preparing to complete the marathon trip on their motorcycles.

New Horizons Motorcycle Training and Tours director Peter Genet and business partner Stuart Gore will set off on the open road next week for their 1,107-mile Iron Butt Ride to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund and Lights for Learning.

Peter said: "It's a huge task and the longest journey I've ever done is only 600 miles, which was difficult enough, so this will be a real challenge.

"Our colleagues think it's a fantastic idea and wish us good luck but also think we're both nuts for doing it because the ride is apparently hardcore.

"Fatigue and tedium will be the biggest issue - the M5 and M6 are quite long and boring roads but they're the only way for us to cover this many miles in such a short space of time, hopefully we'll keep each other in good spirits.

"We will take breaks every 100 miles to stretch our legs and refuel because the seats will get quite uncomfortable if we stay on them for more than two hours at a time."

The Iron Butt challenge begins at the Chiseldon service station at 5am on June 21, then the pair will drive along the A303 to Exeter, round the south of Dartmoor to Land's End before heading through the north of Dartmoor to continue up to Glasgow and, finally, John O'Groats.

Then, once the feat is complete and they've had a good night's sleep, they'll ride all the way back to Swindon to see how much money they've raised and receive their Saddle Sore badge and certificate.

Peter joined the RAF Benevolent Fund's ride-out group last month and hopes to help them provide more financial support services to serving and former RAF personnel which include welfare breaks, grants to help with financial difficulty and getting about inside and outside the home, specialist advice on benefits and support with care needs, as well as support for young people through the Airplay programme.

He is also a trustee of Lights for Learning, which pays for and installs solar panels which provide lighting to hospitals and schools in developing countries.

Peter added: "After I got involved in the RAF charity I thought it would be good to raise much-needed funds for it and my own charity while also being a good excuse to go out for a long ride and have fun on the bike - after all, why not give it a try and do two birds with one stone? We've decided to do it on the longest day so we'll have as much daylight as possible. Luckily it's all downhill from up north so we can just free-wheel back."

Visit newhorizonsmtt.com/iron-butt-ride or to donate, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/peter-genet-2