A WIDNES dad battling Crohn's disease is embarking on yet another gruelling challenge.

Paul Hardaker, aged 43, is riding across the Pyrenees on his adventure motorbike, hoping to complete the mountainous 771 miles in seven days.

His complete route will cover around 2,500 miles.

His plan to row 28 miles across the En glish Channel in a sea kayak has been postponed due to bad weather. He is confident he will get the all clear to do this next month.

The civil engineer from Hough Green has already sailed single-handed around the UK coast on board a 27ft yacht.

He aims to raise awareness and £10,000 for Chrons & Colitis UK, a charity which helps sufferers like himself.

Paul, of Flanders Close, who set sail for Santander on Monday, said: "I've never done anything like this before.

"I'm hoping to ride 10 hours a day. It is going to be hard. I'll have to keep my energy levels up. I will be carrying five litres of water on my back.

"The terrain will include glaciers. There will be no phone signals."

Paul will be camping and surviving on dried food, boiled in a bag on a portable stove.

Paul lives with his partner, Lisa, aged 42, and their sons Ben, aged 14, and Eliot, aged 16.

He hopes his test of endurance will inspire other Crohn's sufferers to feel more positive about their condition.

Paul said: "It is surprising what your body can do once you commit yourself to something. I want to inspire people to push themselves to the limit.

"I've had this disease for 13 years. I am fortunate as I manage really well with it.

"I will be stopping and talking to people about this disease."

He wants to thank everyone for their support.

He added: "It gives me a huge boost knowing that people are behind me. Without their support, there is no way I could get through this."

To sponsor Paul, visit paulhardakerchallenges.co.uk.