Maxine Taylor has picked a somewhat unusual way to mark her 50th birthday.
She has decided to celebrate the landmark occasion by taking part in a mammoth cycle challenge and raise money for a good cause.
The mum-of-two will be getting on her bike and riding 400km across Cuba in five days.
She is taking part in the Women V Cancer challenge, which will see her raise cash for three women’s cancer charities – Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.
Maxine, who works as a civil servant at Norcross, and turns 50 in September, said: “With my 50th birthday coming up, although there are things I would like, I felt there was nothing I really needed.
“I work in the civil service and we are part of the community on the Fylde coast.
I have lots of colleagues and friends who have been touched or their families been touched by cancer.
“So I felt I wanted to raise money for charity and perhaps ask for donations to raise money for a good cause, rather than presents.
“I was thinking about which charity and where the money would be put to the best use.
“And when I was looking online, I came across the Women V Cancer cycle ride.
“I read an article about it and thought it was good, but put it to the back of my mind.
“Then I kept thinking about it.
“It seemed like a really good idea, because it would be a personal challenge for me, as well as raising money for a good cause.
“I’m not really the kind of person who’s the life and soul of the party.
“I can be quite shy so, for me, this will push me out of my comfort zone.
“And it will help me keep fit and lose weight, so I decided to go for it.”
Maxine will be embarking on the mammoth cycling challenge in May next year, but has already started her initial training and has a whole host of events planned to help raise the £3,000 minimum sponsorship by January.
She said: “I’ve started going to spinning classes, doing power walking and as the weather gets better, I will be doing more power-walking and jogging.
“And as times goes on I will start taking part in bike rides and cycling events around the Fylde coast.”
She has already raised £1,300 through various events and activities – including an Easter egg raffle at work, a quiz at the Highlands Hotel, and is also running a fundraising golf tournament on June 8, at Staining Lodge Golf Course. Tickets for the event – including lunch – cost £35.
For tickets to the golf day, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To support Maxine, click www.justgiving.com/maxinetaylor20 and you can follow her progress on Twitter @ maxinetaylor20