TWO members of Dudley Council will be taking on a 72-mile cycling challenge in memory of their late colleague next month to raise money for a local bike track and the Mayor of Dudley’s charities.

Councillors Chris Barnett and Ruth Buttery will set off from Sugar Loaf Lane in Stourbridge on Saturday September 2 to cycle to Sugar Loaf Mountain, in the Brecon Beacons in Monmouthshire.

Cllr Barnett, councillor for Quarry Bank and Dudley Wood, will be raising funds for the installation of a pump track at Homer Hill Park in Cradley.

Developing a BMX circuit for the park was a passion project of Cllr Richard Body, a fellow bike fan who died suddenly in May just days after victory in the local election.

Casual cyclist Cllr Buttery, councillor for Hayley Green and Cradley South, will be riding in support of the Mayor of Dudley’s charities, Dudley Community First Responders, Mary Stevens Hospice, Up & Downs and Prostate Cancer UK.

The duo have been training hard for their demanding ride and recently completed a 43-mile practice run.

Cllr Barnett said: "On election night, Cllr Body told me about his planned ride to the Brecon Beacons and encouraged me to join him. I didn't need to be asked twice!

"Sadly, it was never to be, but I feel it is important that I undertake the ride in his memory and use it to raise funds for Richard’s Pump Track Project in Homer Hill Park.

"I'm delighted to be joined on this adventure by Cllr Buttery. It's an admirable challenge for a new rider."

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children’s services and education, said: "I usually just cycle around the Clent Hills, so this journey will be a huge personal challenge for me.

"All four of the Mayor of Dudley’s charities are special to me in different ways, which is why I am stepping out of my comfort zone and doing this bike ride."

Donations in support of the challenge can be made to the Mayor of Dudley’s charity appeal account, using the account name Mayor’s Appeal, sort code 40-19-28, account number 11690566, and payment reference CYCLING.

Funds raised from the ride will be split equally between the Mayor's charities and the Friends of Homer Hill Park.