A VISUALLY impaired woman is off on a 100k cycle ride - on the back of a tandem.

Kate McCallum, 51, hopes to raise hundreds of pounds from the sponsored challenge in aid of Somerset Sight, where she works on reception.

Accompanying her across the Somerset Levels on the front of the bike on Saturday will be her son, Toby, 20.

Kate has a condition known as Stargardts, a juvenile form of macular degeneration, which makes reading, writing and face recognition difficult.

"I keep relatively fit walking, cycling and swimming," said Kate, who used to run a camel trekking company on the Quantick Hills with her husband, Neil.

"I go out on my bike around the lanes, although I have to walk the route first so I know where the potholes are

"My original plan for Saturday was to sit on the back and let Toby do all the work, but we had quite a big ride on the Quantocks on Sunday and, although Toby may have felt I was doing nothing on the back, I was and it was tough work."

Mother-of-four Kate, who will set out from Somerset Sight's HQ at Northfield House, Taunton, was diagnosed with Stargardts in her late 20s, although she had been aware before then that there was something wrong.

She said: "The condition affects my central vision. I can't see the middle of anything, what I look at is a blur. It makes reading, writing and face recognition difficult.

"I was diagnosed after my sight started to deteriorate rapidly.

"It was life changing. I was busy with four children and the business at the time. But the big life changing thing was losing my driving licence."

Kate added: "I was lucky enough in 2017 to start working at Somerset Sight and have experienced first hand the amazing work that they do with visually impaired people across the whole county.

"I decided that i would like to give something back and that's why I'm taking on the challenge of cycling 100k on the back of a tandem with Toby.

"All of the money raised will go to supporting more visually impaired people like me."

Her colleague at Somerset Sight, Holly Sutton, said: "Kate finds many tasks difficult but doesn’t ever let that stop her. She's a true inspiration/"

Sponsor Kate at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/katecycles100k