A LABORATORY technician from Bury whose father beat cancer has his sights set on a 60-mile bike ride to raise money for a related charity.

Russ Keeble, aged 42, will take part in the Etape Pennines cycling challenge around County Durham in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care on Sunday July 20.

His father Fred was diagnosed with bowel cancer when aged in his 40s but was successfully treated for the disease.

Father-of-two Russ, who works at Specsavers in Manchester, is aiming to raise £250.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to it. I especially wanted to do this ride because it’s for such a great cause. My dad fought his own battle with bowel cancer.

“Thankfully, he had some fantastic treatment and he’s now aged 68 and fine. I just feel I want to do something to help people with cancer and Marie Curie does such marvellous work.”

The Etape Pennines event will involve 2,000 metres of climbing — but if Russ’s track record is anything to go by, he is more than capable of standing up to the test.

Russ cycles the 28-mile round-trip to work at least four days a week, is a member of the Bury Clarion cycling club, and has ridden 2,200 miles on his bike this year.

In addition, he has completed a 101-mile bike ride through Lancashire and plans to take part in the Ride with Brad next month, a 90-mile cycling event organised by Olympic cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins through Lancashire.

Russ started out doing martial arts, becoming a black belt in karate.

But he only began cycling about four years ago after being convinced to take part in the sport by his younger brother Rick, aged 40.

To raise funds for Russ’s cause: go to justgiving.com/Russ-Keeble.