A St Albans ultra-cyclist will set off on the ‘world’s toughest bicycle ride’ pedalling 3,000 miles across America in less than three weeks to help Hertfordshire Air Ambulance.

If Shusanah Pillinger successfully crosses the finish line within 12 days and 21 hours, she will become the first British woman to officially complete the grueling challenge in the race’s 30 year history.

Ms Pillinger and her crew of nine, including Herts Air Ambulance very own HEMS Paramedic Erica Ley, have been busy finalising logistics for the epic challenge as well as actively fundraising for with the aim of raising £5,000.

Ms Pillinger said: "Race Across America isn't just about cycling, although there is a lot of that, but requires a huge amount of preparation to rally a support team, organise three vehicles, get three bicycles in tip-top condition and pack kit, spares, electronics, comms, sports nutrition and medical supplies.

"Then there's the strategy planning and working through ‘what if?’ situations to make sure the team are ready for the race."

Ms Pillinger will be starting to wind down her training, which has involved many thousands of miles on the bike and numerous hours in the gym.

As part of her challenge Ms Pillinger will cross the 50 degree Mojave Desert, before crossing the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains at 3300m altitude and endless plains, avoiding possible tornadoes, and then the Appalachian Mountain range. All of this is endured under conditions of severe sleep deprivation as the riders race the clock from the West Coast to the East Coast.

To make a donation visit: http://www.justgiving.com/ShuRAAM.