Mountain bike riders are being challenged to tackle one of the most demanding rides in the sport's calendar - and raise cash for disabled people at the same time.

Tim Ferguson, an outdoor education instructor, is to take on The Mountain of Hell in his bid to help the battle against Parkinson's Disease.

He has been inspired to compete in the three day challenge in Les Dieux Alpes, France, by his father-in-law, Mel Jones, who has suffered from the disease for about 13 years.

"When I met my wife, Lyn, about 13 years ago, her father had just been diagnosed. He was suffering mildly then but it is a nasty, progressive illness," he said.

Tim, who is a director of the High Adventure Outdoor Education Centre, at Cowling, is aiming to bank £3,400.

And to help him hit the mark, he is challenging other mountain bike enthusiasts - he is looking for about nine or ten - to join him in the venture next July.

"The more of us there are, the more likely we are to reach the target," said Tim, 37.

"The race, which attracts both amateur and professional riders, sets off from the glacier at 3,400 meters and finishes at about 600 metres.

"I want to raise one pound for every one metre of the 3,400 metres," said Tim.

"Within the mountainbike sport, people say if there is one challenge to do it is this one - single track down hill from this altitude makes it not for the faint hearted.

"I also want to make it a bit more exciting for people who sponsor me as well.

"Instead of just begging for money from people, they will automatically get entered into a sweepstake - the prizes are coming from organisations which are already supporting me.

"I'm asking my sponsors to guess how long it will take me to complete the race and the number of crashes I have."

The challenge is restricted to 400 riders and is over three days.

There are races on the first two days, in which riders qualify to take part in the final on the third over the 25 kilometre course.

Tim, who has a 19-month-old daughter, Catrin, has already secured support from Fitness First, in Keighley, Aire Valley Cycles, in Keighley, Science in Sport and from his own company.

Anyone wishing to join him or wants to sponsors the challenge can contact him on 078878 40499, 01535 630044 or on