A cyclist who has proved he can last the distance is embarking on another solo monster trek in aid of charity.
Last year, Frank Burns undertook a charity cycle through New Zealand and Australia, raising more than £8,000 for Save The Children’s work in Syria.
Yesterday (Tuesday), the former Kimbolton School teacher was due to set off for Istanbul – a trip which will see him pedal more than 2,000 miles.
The 64-year-old said: “This trek will be quite unlike any other journey I’ve done. The first day will be to cycle the 100 miles to Harwich, where I will board the ferry to the Hook of Holland.
“I will be following the route of the first crusade in 1096, but starting in Kimbolton and finishing in Istanbul.
“This will take me across seven different countries, to raise much-needed funds for Motivation, a charity that develops affordable wheelchairs for disabled people in the developing world.”
His route will take him through Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and into Turkey. He plans to be self reliant and carry what he needs, including a tent.
Mr Burns said he was anticipating many challenges during the trip, not least the many mountainous terrains of southern Germany, Austria, Serbia and Bulgaria.
But it was a threat nearer his destination that he was particularly wary of. “The presence of unfettered dogs in eastern Europe, and especially Turkey, is well known in the world of trekking cyclists,” he said. “They look on foreigners as ‘fresh meat’. This is when you realise that bicycle pumps have more than one use!”
To keep up to date with Mr Burns’s progress, he will be keeping an online blog at http://frankburns.wordpress.com.
INFORMATION: To sponsor Mr Burns, visit www.justgiving.com/frank-burns2.