From Auld Reekie to the Roof of the World

Pals ride 11,000km for charity

Five Edinburgh friends have recently completed a cycling trip which took them from the Scottish capital to the foothills of Mt. Everest. 

With the goal of raising money for the charities Aspire, which supports people with spinal injuries, and the Nepal Trust, a humanitarian charity based in Scotland, the quintet comprising medical doctors Ailsa Stott and Olivia Berry both aged 27; Shamus Whyte, a manager aged 26; recruitment consultant Dan Gerrard, 27; and administrative assistant, Simone Gribble, 27, set out from the UK on August 11 and reached their goal, some 11,000kms later on November 5.

With the support of an accompanying Land Rover and using a pair of Giant Escape M2 bikes, the group members took turns to relay their way across Europe and Central Asia covering as much as 350km per day. Their daily distances came down considerably, however, once they reached central Asia.

“Pretty much as soon as we crossed the border into Kazakhstan we hit sandy, pot-holed and rocky roads,” explained Ailsa. “But worse were the strong head- and cross-winds. We had to concentrate really hard and ride at an angle so that we wouldn’t get blown into a pot hole.”

The team suffered just three punctures during the entire trip and highlights included the Austrian Alps, Dalmatian coast and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Kyrgyzstan was also a bit of a treat, said Ailsa. “After three weeks in the Kazakh Steppe, to enter the mountains was absolutely stunning.” The expedition has so far raised £6,439.09 for the Nepal Trust and £3,182.50 for Aspire and if you wish to donate to the latter click here .

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