An inventor is using pedal power to champion the cause of clean energy – by riding his unique tricycle 250 miles to York in the countdown to the Tour De France.

Simon Rigby knocked together the contraption at his home in Bath three years ago but is determined to get it to market using York cycling expertise.

His load-carrying tricycle has two wheels at the front instead of the back – and a unique suspension system to deal with bumpy roads.

Determined to show off his invention in York, he decided to ride it up to show it could be done without great levels of fitness.

Simon, 50, a graphic designer and arts events promoter, said: “I am not fit guy. I smoke and drink too much and I am middle aged. But this shows what a practical vehicle it is.”

He tips the scales at a modest eleven and a half stone. “But that’s only because I don’t eat enough. Coffee and fags is my ideal breakfast,” he added.

He set off from Bath on Saturday, carrying all he needs for the journey - a laptop, camping stove, tent, a change of clothes and other necessities - in the front basket.

Speaking on the final 70-mile leg to York, he added: “The journey has not been too bad. I did not imagine there would be so many hills though.

“It has been fun, although there were times when I wondered why I was doing it. I have been averaging 25 to 30 miles a day. The top speed is about the same as the average person’s bike.”

Simon, who was born and bred in Bath but whose father Bill lives in the Beverley area, added:

“I can carry a couple of adults or three or four kids. Kids go bananas when I do festivals. They love it. Previously, he used the machine, converted from a quad bike, for carrying logs - but tweaked the design to be more aerodynamic to cope with the wind resistance during the journey.

An advocate of green transport, he drove an electric milk float around the country a few years ago to show how clean energy is practical.