A GUITARIST climbed onto his bike and rode 1,400 miles to perform 33 concerts and raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Musician Richard Durrant, 51, set out from Shoreham seven weeks ago with his riding partner Sean Simmington to cycle their way around the country raising money for the cancer charity Big C.

Mr Durrant performed and played while Mr Simmington was his unofficial roadie and drummer – who uses parts of cycles as instruments.

They set out for the seven weeks tour from the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham – which has since been renamed as Basepoint.

The pair toured round the country on their pushbikes hauling trailers filled with equipment.

They performed at venues all over the UK from the Isle of Wight to North Yorkshire and now feel “fitter than ever before”.

Mr Durrant said: “My average yearly mileage playing concerts is about 35,000 miles so this was partly inspired by a little bit of guilt of my carbon footprint.

“It was quite a challenge. For the first half it really was a struggle as the trailer and our gear was too heavy for the back wheel so we had to constantly be replacing spokes until we got a stronger wheel.”

The pair met while Mr Simmington, from Norflok, was cycling a Lands End to John O’Groats ride in aid of Big C after he lost his partner to cancer.

They then decided to work together and combine the cycle powered music tour with efforts to raise money for the charity.

Diane Northway, fundraising manager at Big C, said: “I was lucky enough to meet up with them when they came into Norwich and we did a stint on the radio together.

“It is just such an inspiration. Sean lost his partner to cancer and he has done fundraising for us before with his cycling.”

She added: “The trailer gone away from them a few times, especially when going downhill.

“And sometimes the trailer has broken off but they carried on. It is just awe inspiring what they have done.”

Mr Durrant thanked all those who supported him on the ride including Rod and Marie Lambert of the Giant bike shop in Shoreham, who provided support for the bikes, and Strings and Things in Shoreham who helped with the instruments and stage set up.