AN ADVENTUROUS property company director from Henley-in-Arden will be swapping his hard hat and tape measure for two wheels and some lycra shorts when he takes part in a gruelling 600 mile bike ride next week.
Jonathan Collis, from Grevayne Properties based in the High Street, will be joining a host of sporting and business personalities, including Lawrence Dallaglio, in an eight-day bike ride in an effort to raise funds for the premature baby charity BLISS.
Stretching from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the multi-marathon event will kick off in Biarritz in France on September 26 and end in Banyuls-sur-Mer in France on October 4 and is expected to take in the splendour of the Pyrenees mountain range.
Staying in hotels along the way by night, each individual will pedal 85 miles each day which includes an estimated 4,000 metres of climb on a bike per day.
Fifty-two-year-old Jonathan, who lives in Sutton Coldfield, will be taking part as one of a group of 30 others and is hoping to boost the coffers of the organisation to the tune of £10,000. He already has £7,500 promised but needs to raise a further £2,500.
He has been in training for the big event for the past 12 months and undertakes three two hour sessions at the gym each week as well as a five hour bike ride on a Sunday and a two hour ride during the week.
He said: "My wife Susan thinks I am crazy doing it but it is for a great cause, as anyone who has ever had a premature baby will know. Funding for one to one baby care is very short and BLISS do a fantastic job in supporting parents going through what can be a very difficult emotional time."
Jonathan himself had his own share of trauma 22 years ago in 1986, when his own two children were born as twins five weeks prematurely and his son Daniel spent three weeks in the Special Care Unit at Good Hope Hospital because his lungs were not as well-developed as his sister Victoria's.
However, his son is now a robust six foot two inches tall hockey player with a promising career in banking waiting for him when he returns from a gap year travelling around the world.
Anyone willing to support Jonathan can visit the website at www.justgiving.com/jonathancollis to make a donation.