Bury St Edmunds soldier to tackle London to Paris cycle for the Royal British Legion
- Credit: Archant
A Bury St Edmunds soldier who took up cycling after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is set to cycle from London to Paris in just four days.
Jason Rees, 33, who is currently based at RAF Honington, will begin the gruelling 285-mile challenge in London on Thursday before arriving in Paris on Sunday where a service of remembrance will be held at the Arc de Triomphe.
Jason, a former Royal Welsh Infantry soldier, who now serves with the Military Provost Guard Service, will join more than 300 cyclists for the Pedal to Paris bike ride to raise money for the Royal British Legion.
The Pedal to Paris event is the only cycling race other than the Tour de France where the Champs-Élysées is closed to traffic to cross onto the Arc de Triomphe.
Joining the army at the age of 17 in 2001, Jason previously conducted tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo as a warrior gunner until he left in 2013.
Originally from Maesteg, near Bridgend, South Wales, Jason took up cycling when he was diagnosed with PTSD and uses exercise as a way of release and focus.
He said: “Since getting out on my bike last year, I have absolutely fallen in love with cycling. I found it a complete release from what was a very difficult time in my life and it has given me focus and I now can’t wait to get out for a ride.
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“I can’t wait to cycle what will be a very challenging, but enjoyable route and I’m excited to meet other like-minded people who want to raise much-needed funds for the Legion.”
Jason has already raised over £1,000 for the Royal British Legion, which delivers lifelong support to serving personnel, veterans and their families.
Claire Rowcliffe, director of fundraising at The Royal British Legion, said: “We are very grateful to Jason for taking on the Pedal to Paris challenge. It really is an incredible experience and we wish him all the best for the ride, which is now in its 22nd year. Apart from the training that goes into preparing for the event, the fundraising that he is undertaking on behalf of the Legion will help those we support live on to a more hopeful future.”
Anyone wishing to donate can click here to visit Jason’s fundraising page.