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"I think this is part of my midlife crisis!"

Rider Wg Cdr Steve Berry is tired, with a "sore rear", but in good spirits after day one of the Battle of Britain 75th anniversary Brompton Bike Ride.

Steve and 51 other fantastic RAF Benevolent Fund fundraisers set off from Paris today on the first leg of their 216-mile cycle back to London. Tomorrow they will cycle from Beauvais to Dieppe.

Steve Berry and his BromptonSteve said: "The highlight of my trip so far has been this morning. We ended up cycling along the Seine for about an hour. It was a beautiful day and all the cyclists were stretched over about 200 metres. It was really a magical moment and a great way to start.

"When I signed up for this I actually thought we were doing this on road bikes. So it was quite a surprise to find myself on a bike with wheels with an eight-inch diameter. You really can go quite quick on them. They are well-engineered bits of kit!"

Steve is Officer Commanding 41 Squadron based at RAF Coningsby which provided part of the inspiration for him to sign up. This is also his fortieth year – another motivating factor!

He explained: "My squadron is one of the Battle of Britain squadrons who fought in 1940 and it struck me that being able to celebrate that as part of the Battle of Britain ride, while raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund was too good an opportunity to miss."

If you would like to sponsor Steve, go to

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