A HEXHAM rower swapped two oars for two wheels to take part in a gruelling Lake District cycling challenge for charity.

Rob Aubrook, of Hexham Rowing Club, and his friend Michael Smith, from Henshaw, took part in the Fred Whitton Challenge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The challenge consisted of a 112-mile tour of the Lake District, starting at Grasmere and taking in Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott and Wrynose Passes, involving climbs totalling 3,900m, and gradients of up to 30 per cent.

The pair have been training for a year to take on the challenge, held annually in memory of cancer victim Fred.

They joined 2,500 other riders in perfect conditions, and finished with a total riding time of just over nine hours. Rob and Michael thanked everyone who donated after around £800 was raised from their efforts.