The six-week solo cycle ride from his Hertfordshire home will take home through for countries to Brindisi at the foot of Italy.
Billed as ‘Simon’s mid-life crisis’, Mr English said: ‘I decided I finally had to do the big thing I’d always wanted to do - and do it before I am too old. I can’t run because of four knee operations and five different torn knee ligaments, I can’t swim again because of the knees - so it had to be a bike ride.'
Having never cycled more than 60 miles in a week, Mr English is taking the scenic route and going over the Alps on his bicycle - dubbed Benson - and sleeping mostly in a tent as he tries to average 50 miles a day.
He hopes to compete his epic journey by the end of the first week of October and planning sight-seeing as he travels through England, France, Switzerland and Italy.
He said: ‘I’m not picking a hard and fast route and certainly don’t want to be tied down to stopping somewhere just because I had planned to - or likewise grinding on in the wind and rain. This is meant to be challenge but not a torture!’
Mr English co-founded Fleet Assist more than a decade ago. The company provides clients with a nationwide network of more than 7,000 service outlets which undertake service, maintenance and repair work on vehicles supplied to customers across the UK.
Mr English set an initial fundraising target of £10,000 and less than two weeks into the trip more than £7,300 has been donated by generous sponsors.