Today Dr Steve Fabes sets off on a daunting solo five-year pedal-powered journey around the world, taking in some of the poorest and most neglected countries as he travels the length of six continents.
The 28-year-old is hoping to cover 50,000 miles aboard his custom-built Santos Travelmaster 2.6 Cromo, a variant on the same model of bike used by fellow Briton James Bowthorpe to beat the round-the-world record last year.
Dr Fabes’ planned route will provide a harsh challenge, including passing through the Alps in winter, tackling the mountainous east of Africa and following the spine of the Andes through South America. Extremes of temperature, altitude, long climbs, deserts and jungles will all be part of the journey.
Among a flurry of round-the-world expeditions, Dr Fabes’ stands out for its humanitarian angle. The planned route, although not set in stone, will take the doctor through a number of regions affected by Neglected Tropical Diseases.
These are 14 infectious illnesses grouped together by the World Health Organisation which affect an estimated one-sixth of the World’s population, causing disability and lifelong problems as well as being a huge economic drain on already impoverished countries.
Dr Fabes hopes the ride will raise awareness of the suffering caused by these diseases, and the help required. The ride also aims to raise £50,000 for medical charity Merlin, whose work in conflict torn, disaster stricken and vulnerable third world countries is crucial in helping to alleviate suffering.
Currently working in the intensive care unit and renal department at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, Dr Fabes hopes the trip will allow him to expand and use his specialist knowledge of tropical medicine and infectious disease. For more information about his journey, visit www.cyclingthe6.com.