But little did he know his new sporting pastime would see him volunteer to take on a 300-mile challenge
BRITAIN'S most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and Glasgow's oldest bike shop has added its support to the team of amateur cyclists saddling up for Paris.
The team, which includes this reporter and cancer survivor John Malcolm, are raising cash for Prostate Cancer UK by riding 300 miles from London to Paris in just four days this summer.
And to help them raise funds and awareness for the cause, six-time Olympic gold winner Sir Chris sent a signed Team GB T-shirt to auction.
He also re-tweeted an earlier Evening Times story about the bid to his millions of followers.
John, who is a retired police inspector from Renfrewshire, has battled prostate cancer and is the inspiration behind the charity drive.
The 55-year-old said: "We've been working really hard to clock up the miles and build fitness for our challenge, which has been tough in the winter weather.
"Securing sponsorship from Dales has been a big boost just when we needed it.
"We hope to raise as much as we can for Prostate Cancer UK.
"Prostate Cancer kills one man in Britain every hour. I was fortunate to have a switched-on GP who got me checked out quickly enough, and the charity were there to help.
"Raising money for them means we will be helping them save countless lives. It's a really worthwhile cause, and we're always looking for more help."
Team-mate Andy Jack added: "John hates being in the limelight but he's a real inspiration to us.
"The training has been hard-going but he always keeps our spirits up, even when the weather's been a nightmare.
"We've had some very generous support from a host of places. It's great to have had prizes like the Chris Hoy shirt to auction for the cause and we've also been given great support by our friends and family."
The team recently held a fund-raising night at cycle cafe, Cafe Siempre, in Dumbarton Road and raffled off a host of prizes including the shirt from Sir Chris, which brought in £1200 to the cause.
The total raised so far is £10,517.
And in a further boost to the cause, the team have recruited an extra member to the team for the trip – James Blest, from Glasgow, will join John, Andy, Robert Barbour and me on the journey in June.
The bid has also received support from Ayr Round Table and Williamwood Golf Club.
John and the lads have also been backed by Glasgow's oldest bike shop, Dales Cycles, which has agreed to part-sponsor the team kit.
Dales Cycles managing director Debbie Houston said: "We are pleased to be supporting John and his team in taking on this challenge.
"It's good to see cyclists doing their bit for worthy causes and to see the positive effect which cycling has.
"It's great that other businesses in the city and a Glasgow institution like the Evening Times are getting fully behind the team."
n To donate or find out more, log on to www.justgiving.com/gettofrance
Or check out the team's blog at www.gettaefrance.blogspot.co.uk
:: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK.
:: More than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and 250,000 men are currently living with the disease.
:: Normally the growth of all cells is carefully controlled in the body. As cells die, they are replaced in an orderly fashion.
:: Cancer can develop when cells start to grow in an uncontrolled way. If this happens in the prostate gland, prostate cancer can develop.
:: Prostate cancer can grow slowly or very quickly.
:: Most prostate cancer is slow-growing to start
with and may never cause any problems or symptoms in a man's lifetime.
:: However, some men will have
cancer that is more aggressive or 'high risk'.
:: This needs treatment to help prevent or delay it spreading outside the prostate gland.
:: For more information, log on to www.prostate canceruk.org